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Cell. 1981 Apr;24(1):175-84.

Early changes in the distribution and organization of microfilament proteins during cell transformation.


During the onset of transformation, Rous sarcoma virus-infected cells undergo characteristic morphological changes that reflect the biochemical events induced by the viral src gene. Temperature downshift experiments using chick embryo cells infected with transformation-defective temperature-sensitive viral mutants have shown two major morphological changes occurring at different times in the transformation process: ruffle-like flowers appear on the dorsal cell surface as early as 15 min after temperature shift, while later, between 6 and 12 hr, cytoskeletal stress fibers disappear and the cells round up. We report that flowers contain large accumulations of the cytoskeletal proteins actin, alpha-actinin, myosin and tropomyosin. Furthermore, since flowers stain very intensely with fluorescein-labeled phalloidin, a cyclopeptide that selectively binds to F-actin and not to G-actin, we suggest that these structures result from an early reorganization of microfilaments.

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