August 25, 2011

I like to imagine that actin and microtubules duked it out one day over which was more important. Actin let microtubules have the mitotic spindle, as long as actin could have the leading edge. So, imagine how ticked off microtubules were to learn that actin was discovered a few years ago to play an important role in Golgi organization, a task long-associated with microtubules. Zoinks!

The Golgi apparatus is a ribbon-like network of membrane stacks that process and sort various material synthesized by the cell. Its organization near the nucleus of the cell is long-known to be dependent on the microtubule cytoskeleton, and a recent paper describes new results on how important the actin cytoskeleton is in Golgi organization, too. Zilberman and colleagues have shown that an actin polymerizing protein called mDia1 and its activator, RhoA, affects the organization of the Golgi network. Specifically, when active forms of either of these proteins were introduced into cells, the Golgi network dispersed over an area much larger than in normal cells. In the images above, the Golgi network (red) covers a larger area in cells with an active form of mDia1 (bottom) than in normal cells (top). The actin network is in green.

ResearchBlogging.orgZilberman, Y., Alieva, N., Miserey-Lenkei, S., Lichtenstein, A., Kam, Z., Sabanay, H., & Bershadsky, A. (2011). Involvement of the Rho-mDia1 pathway in the regulation of Golgi complex architecture and dynamics Molecular Biology of the Cell, 22 (16), 2900-2911 DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E11-01-0007

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