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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1998;39(2):122-33.

Formation of F-actin aggregates in cells treated with actin stabilizing drugs.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs 06269, USA.


We have electroporated Dictyostelium amoebae with fluorescent phalloidin in order to visualize the localization and behavior of F-actin filaments in living cells. Immediately after electroporation with phalloidin, cells became round and showed bright staining in the cortical region. Over time, the cortical staining disappeared and was replaced by a large aggregate of actin filaments. The aggregates were predominantly localized to the apical posterior of actively moving cells and in the middle of dividing cells or stationary AX4 cells. Mutants lacking myosin II or ABP-120 also formed actin aggregates; however, the rate of formation of aggregates was slower in myosin II mutant cells. In order to investigate this phenomenon further, we have used jasplakinolide, a membrane-permeable drug that also stabilizes F-actin filaments. Cells treated with jasplakinolide formed actin aggregates in a concentration-dependent manner. Drug treatment led to an increase in the proportion of actin associated with the cytoskeleton. Jasplakinolide-treated cells were still motile; however, their rate of movement was less than that of untreated cells. Cytochalasin B and nocodazole had inhibitory effects on aggregate formation, while azide blocked the process completely. We hypothesize that aggregates are formed from the cortical flow of F-actin filaments. These filaments would normally be depolymerized but are artificially stabilized by phalloidin or jasplakinolide binding. The localization of the aggregate is likely to be an indication of the direction of cortical flow.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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