Motile areas of leech neurites are rich in microfilaments and two actin-binding proteins: gelsolin and profilin.

Neely MD, Macaluso E
Proc Biol Sci. 1997 264 (1388): 1701-6

PMID: 9404032 · PMCID: PMC1688718 · DOI:10.1098/rspb.1997.0236

Cell motility is produced by changes in the dynamics and organization of actin filaments. The aim of the experiments described here was to test whether growing neurites contain two actin-binding proteins, gelsolin and profilin, that regulate polymerization of actin and affect non-neuronal cell motility. The distribution of gelsolin, profilin and the microfilaments was compared by immunocytochemistry of leech neurons growing in culture. We observed that microfilaments are enriched in the peripheral motile areas of the neurites. Both gelsolin and profilin are also concentrated in these regions. Gelsolin is abundant in filopodia and is associated with single identifiable microfilament bundles in lamellipodia. Profilin is not prominent in filopodia and shows a diffuse staining pattern in lamellipodia. The colocalization of gelsolin and profilin in motile, microfilament-rich areas supports the hypothesis that they synergistically regulate the actin dynamics that underlie neurite growth.

MeSH Terms (10)

Actin Cytoskeleton Animals Cell Movement Cells, Cultured Contractile Proteins Gelsolin Leeches Microfilament Proteins Neurites Profilins

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