Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Circuit of molecular interactions that control the cytoskeleton – the cell's inner scaffold of networked proteins

22 July 2022

Wave Mapping

Who knew scaffolding could be so mesmerising? At least it is here with these waves of ‘molecular scaffolding’ in starfish embryos. Much like we have skeletons, cells have similar structures made up of a protein called actin (orange and right panel), just under their surface, but theirs can change shape to respond to different tasks. Restructuring involves disassembling and reassembling blocks of actin to create long filaments and is supported by a protein called Rho (blue and left panel) to stick the blocks together. Mapping waves of these building partners researchers not only find out how they work together during actin assembly, but also what happens when assembly is disrupted (by the addition of a molecule called latrunculin near the start of this video) where we see less coordinated waves between these two proteins.

Written by Sophie Arthur

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