Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1996 Feb;8(1):86-96.

Regulation of actin filament length in erythrocytes and striated muscle.

Author information

Department of Cell Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Actin filaments polymerize in vitro to lengths which display an exponential distribution, yet in many highly differentiated cells they can be precisely maintained at uniform lengths in elaborate supramolecular structures. Recent results obtained using two classic model systems, the erythrocyte membrane cytoskeleton and the striated muscle sarcomere, reveal surprising similarities and instructive differences in the molecules and mechanisms responsible for determining and maintaining actin filament lengths in these two systems. Tropomodulin caps the slow-growing, pointed filament ends in muscle and in erythrocytes. CapZ caps the fast-growing, barbed filament ends in striated muscle, whereas a newly discovered barbed end capping protein, adducin, may cap the barbed filament ends in erythrocytes. The mechanisms responsible for specifying the characteristic filament lengths in these systems are more elusive and may include strict control of the relative amounts of actin filament capping proteins and side-binding proteins, molecular templates (e.g. tropomyosin and nebulin) and/or verniers (e.g. tropomyosin).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center