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Geometrical control of actin assembly and contractility

Abstract : The actin cytoskeleton is a fundamental player in many cellular processes. Ultrastructural studies have revealed its extremely complex organization, where actin filaments self-organize into defined and specialized structures of distinct functions and, yet, are able to selectively recruit biochemical regulators that are available in the entire cell volume. To overcome this extraordinary complexity, simplified reconstituted systems significantly improve our understanding of actin dynamics and self-organization. However, little is known regarding physical rules governing actin networks organization and to which extent network structure may direct and regulate selective interactions with specific regulators. Here, we describe the first method to direct actin filament assembly to specific 2D motifs with a finely tuned geometry and relative distribution. This method enables the study of how geometrical confinement governs actin network structural organization and how, in return, structural cues can control selective contraction by myosin motor. The protocol relies on the use of surface micropatterning and functionalization procedures in order to selectively direct actin filament assembly to specific sites of nucleation.
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Anne-Cécile Reymann, Christophe Guerin, Manuel Thery, Laurent Blanchoin. Geometrical control of actin assembly and contractility. Micropatterning in cell biology : Part B, 120, Elsevier, 20 p., 2014, Methods in Cell Biology, 978-0-12-417136-7. ⟨hal-02928367⟩



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