Analysis of the local organization and dynamics of cellular actin networks

Weiwei Luo, Cheng han Yu, Zi Zhao Lieu, Jun Allard, Alex Mogilner, Michael Sheetz, Alexander D. Bershadsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations


A ctin filaments, with the aid of multiple accessory proteins, self-assemble into a variety of network patterns. We studied the organization and dynamics of the actin network in nonadhesive regions of cells bridging fibronectin-coated adhesive strips. The network was formed by actin nodes associated with and linked by myosin II and containing the formin disheveled-associated activator of morphogenesis 1 (DAAM1) and the crosslinker filamin A (FlnA). After Latrunculin A (LatA) addition, actin nodes appeared to be more prominent and demonstrated drift-diffusion motion. Superresolution microscopy revealed that, in untreated cells, DAAM1 formed patches with a similar spatial arrangement to the actin nodes. Node movement (diffusion coefficient and velocity) in LatA-treated cells was dependent on the level and activity of myosin IIA, DAAM1, and FlnA. Based on our results, we developed a computational model of the dynamic formin-filamin-actin asters that can self-organize into a contractile actomyosin network. We suggest that such networks are critical for connecting distant parts of the cell to maintain the mechanical coherence of the cytoplasm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1073
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 25 2013
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Luo, W., Yu, C. H., Lieu, Z. Z., Allard, J., Mogilner, A., Sheetz, M., & Bershadsky, A. D. (2013). Analysis of the local organization and dynamics of cellular actin networks. Journal of Cell Biology, 202(7), 1057-1073.