Actin filament organization in aligned prefusion myoblasts

Swailes, Nathan T., Knight, Peter J., and Peckham, Michelle (2004) Actin filament organization in aligned prefusion myoblasts. Journal of Anatomy, 205 (5). pp. 381-391.

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The organization of the actin cytoskeleton in prefusion aligning myoblasts is likely to be important for their shape and interaction. We investigated actin filament organization and polarity by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in these cells. About 84% of the filaments counted were either found in a subplasmalemma sheet up to 0.5um thick that was aligned with the long axis of the cell, or in protrusions. The remaining filaments were found in the cytoplasm, where they were randomly orientated and not organized into bundles. The polarity of the subplasmalemma filaments changed progressively from one end of the cell to the other. At the ends of the cells and in protrusions, the majority of filaments were organized such that their barbed ends faced the tip of the protrusion. We did not find any actin filament bundles or stress fibres in these cells. Time-lapse phase microscopy demonstrated that aligned cells were still actively migrating at the time of our TEM observations, and their direction of movement was restricted to the long axis of the cell group. The ability of these cells to locomote actively in the absence of actin filament bundles suggests that in these cells the subplasmalemma actin sheet contributes not only to cell shape but also to cell locomotion.

Item ID: 204
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0021-8782
Keywords: cell locomotion, myoblasts, cytoskeleton, actin, myosin S1, muscle differentiation, TEM, electron microscopy, video microscopy
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© 2004 Blackwell : The definitive version is available at

Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2006
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060103 Cell Development, Proliferation and Death @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060106 Cellular Interactions (incl Adhesion, Matrix, Cell Wall) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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