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Biophys Physicobiol. 2019 Jan 9;16:1-8. doi: 10.2142/biophysico.16.0_1. eCollection 2019.

Millimeter-sized belt-like pattern formation of actin filaments in solution by interacting with surface myosin in vitro.

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Department of Bioengineering, Nagaoka University of Technology, Nagaoka, Niigata 940-2188, Japan.
Department of Information Engineering, University of the Ryukyus, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan.
School of System Information Science, Department of Complex and Intelligent Systems, Future University Hakodate, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-8655, Japan.


The movements of single actin filaments along a myosin-fixed glass surface were observed under a conventional fluorescence microscope. Although random at a low concentration, moving directions of filaments were aligned by the presence of over 1.0 mg/mL of unlabeled filaments. We found that actin filaments when at the intermediate concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 mg/mL, formed winding belt-like patterns and moved in a two-directional manner along the belts. These patterns were spread over a millimeter range and found to have bulged on the glass in a three-dimensional manner. Filaments did not get closer than about 37.5 nm to each other within each belt-pattern. The average width and the curvature radius of the pattern did not apparently change even when the range of actin concentrations was between 0.05 and 1.0 mg/mL or the sliding velocity between 1.2 and 3.2 μm/sec. However, when the length of filaments was shortened by ultrasonic treatments or the addition of gelsolin molecules, the curvature radius became small from 100 to 60 μm. These results indicate that this belt-forming nature of actin filaments may be due to some inter-filament interactions.


actin filament; motility assay

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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