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Exp Cell Res. 1998 Aug 1;242(2):495-514.

Distribution of cytoskeletal proteins in neomycin-induced protrusions of human fibroblasts.

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Department of Zoology, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, 73019, USA.


The organization of actin, tubulin, and vimentin was studied in protruding lamellae of human fibroblasts induced by the aminoglycoside antibiotic neomycin, an inhibitor of the phosphatidylinositol cycle. Neomycin stimulates the simultaneous protrusion of lamellae in all treated cells, and the lamellae remain extended for about 15-20 min, before gradually withdrawing. The pattern and distribution of actin, tubulin, and vimentin during neomycin stimulation were analyzed by fluorescence and electron microscopy. F-actin in the newly formed lamellae is localized in a marginal band at the leading edge. Tubulin is colocalized with F-actin in the marginal band, but the newly formed lamellae are initially devoid of microtubules. Over a period of 10 to 20 min after the addition of neomycin, microtubules grow into the lamellae from the adjacent cytoplasm, while the intensity of tubulin staining of the marginal band decreases. Distribution of vimentin remains unchanged in neomycin-treated cells and vimentin filaments do not enter the new protrusions. Treatment of cells with colchicine and Taxol do not inhibit neomycin-induced protrusion but protrusions are no longer localized at the ends of cell processes and occur all around the cell periphery. We conclude that actin filaments are the major component of the cytoskeleton involved in generating protrusions. Microtubules and, possibly, intermediate filaments control the pattern of protrusions by their interaction with actin filaments.

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