Signalling to actin assembly via the WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein)-family proteins and the Arp2/3 complex

Millard, T. H., Sharp, S. J. and Machesky, L. M. (2004) Signalling to actin assembly via the WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein)-family proteins and the Arp2/3 complex. Biochemical Journal, 380(1), pp. 1-17. (doi: 10.1042/bj20040176) (PMID:15040784) (PMCID:PMC1224166)

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Abstract

The assembly of a branched network of actin filaments provides the mechanical propulsion that drives a range of dynamic cellular processes, including cell motility. The Arp2/3 complex is a crucial component of such filament networks. Arp2/3 nucleates new actin filaments while bound to existing filaments, thus creating a branched network. In recent years, a number of proteins that activate the filament nucleation activity of Arp2/3 have been identified, most notably the WASP (Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome protein) family. WASP-family proteins activate the Arp2/3 complex, and consequently stimulate actin assembly, in response to extracellular signals. Structural studies have provided a significant refinement in our understanding of the molecular detail of how the Arp2/3 complex nucleates actin filaments. There has also been much progress towards an understanding of the complicated signalling processes that regulate WASP-family proteins. In addition, the use of gene disruption in a number of organisms has led to new insights into the specific functions of individual WASP-family members. The present review will discuss the Arp2/3 complex and its regulators, in particular the WASP-family proteins. Emphasis will be placed on recent developments in the field that have furthered our understanding of actin dynamics and cell motility.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Machesky, Professor Laura
Authors: Millard, T. H., Sharp, S. J., and Machesky, L. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Biochemical Journal
Publisher:Portland Press
ISSN:0264-6021
ISSN (Online):1470-8728
Published Online:25 March 2004

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