Cell Motility

Cofilin in Locomotion

Science's STKE  04 May 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 231, pp. tw161
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2312004tw161

Cofilin is a cytoskeletal protein that binds and severs actin filaments. But is cofilin simply required to regenerate free actin, while the Arp2/3 complex regulates actin polymerization at the leading edge of migrating cells? Ghosh et al. now suggest that cofilin plays a more direct role in cell motility. Cofilin is regulated by phosphorylation, and, using an inactive phosphocofilin mimic that could be switched on by a brief burst of light, global activation produced increased cell movement. Local activation instead induced cell surface protrusions that set the direction of cell migration.

M. Ghosh, X. Song, G. Mouneimne, M. Sidani, D. S. Lawrence, J. S. Condeelis, Cofilin promotes actin polymerization and defines the direction of cell motility. Science 304, 743-746 (2004). [Abstract] [Full Text]