Authors: (Yamilla Torres Cleuren, Johannes Boonstra, University College Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands, and others)
Abstract: Actin is a globular protein found in all eukaryotic cells. Depending on its location, it
can form different structures and perform various functions. Actin monomers (G-actin)
come together to form filaments (F-actin); it is found abundantly in the form of
microfilaments and thin filaments in cells. With the help of different actin-binding
proteins that regulate its structure and activity, it can assemble in several combinations
giving rise to actin bundles and networks with differing functions. Playing a central role
in cell morphology, cell adhesions, cell contractility and motility, signal transduction,
transcription and its regulation, cytokinesis and synapse formation, malfunctioning of
actin can lead to various diseases; among them congenital myopathies, compromised
immunity, neurodegeneration, and cancer spread. The structure and function of actin and
its role in different diseases are here discussed.
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