From Cell Biology to Tissue Engineering



Are non-muscle actin isoforms functionally equivalent?

Aleksandra Simiczyjew, Katarzyna Pietraszek-Gremplewicz, Antonina Joanna Mazur and Dorota Nowak

Department of Cell Pathology, Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland

Offprint requests to: Dorota Nowak, Department of Cell Pathology, Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Wroclaw, Joliot-Curie 14a-50-383 Wroclaw. Poland. e-mail: dorota.nowak@uwr.edu.pl

Summary. Actin is highly conserved and it is the most widespread protein in eukaryotic cells. One of the most important features of actin, which allows it to have many different functions, is its ability to polymerize and interact with many other proteins. Actins are the major constituent of the actin cytoskeleton, which is an important system that is involved in various aspects of cell function, including cell motility, structure, integrity, regulation of signal transduction and transcription. Six mammal actin isoforms are highly conserved and share common functions. Two of them, β and γ non-muscle actin isoforms, which differ only by four amino acids located at the N-terminus of the polypeptide chain, are required for survival and proper cell functioning. We also summarized data about actbl2, which is suggested to be a newly discovered isoactin. Here, we review the current knowledge about tissue-specific expression of the non-muscle actin isoforms and possible functional differences between them. We also discuss molecular tools, which in recent years have allowed for a better understanding of the role of these proteins in cell functioning. Histol Histopathol 32, 1125-1139 (2017)

Key words: Non-muscle actin isoforms, β and γ actin isoformm, actbl2, Cell migration

DOI: 10.14670/HH-11-896