June 2017

Cryo-EM Reveals How Human Cytoplasmic Dynein Is Auto-inhibited and Activated
This Cell article reveals the structural underpinnings of cytoplasmic dynein regulation.

Friction Mediates Scission of Tubular Membranes Scaffolded by BAR Proteins
A combination of theoretical modeling, in vitro, and in vivo experimentation reveals that microtubule-based motor proteins pull and cut tubular membranes by friction-driven scission.

Manipulation and Quantification of Microtubule Lattice Integrity
New techniques developed by the Gardner lab enable investigation of microtubule lattice structure.

May 2017

The Centrosome Is a Selective Condensate that Nucleates Microtubules by Concentrating Tubulin
The Hyman group reconstitutes a minimal pericentriolar material (PCM) in vitro, finding that the condensation of key microtubule effector proteins induces tubulin concentration and subsequent microtubule nucleation.

Microtubule Stabilization Promoted Axonal Regeneration and Functional Recovery After Spinal Root Avulsion
Li and Wu argue that microtubule stabilization with Epothilone B promotes axonal regeneration and motor functional recovery upon peripheral nerve injury.

Dynein Is Regulated by the Stability of Its Microtubule Track
In this JCB article the authors describe an intricate relationship among dynein, dynactin, and microtubule stability in positioning the mitotic spindle.

March 2017

Bridging Length Scales to Measure Polymer Assembly
The Needleman lab describes a new method for quantitatively measuring microtubule polymer concentrations in tissue culture cells and Xenopus egg extracts.

Caenorhabditis elegans Oocytes Detect Meiotic Errors in the Absence of Canonical End-On Kinetochore Attachments
The Wignall lab demonstrates that meiotic cells employ a spindle assembly checkpoint despite the absence of end-on kinetochore attachments.

Current Status of Marine-Derived Compounds as Warheads in Anti-Tumor Drug Candidates
Tubulin inhibitors may serve as powerful warheads in the treatment of neoplastic diseases by antibody-drug conjugates.

February 2017

The Structural Switch of Nucleotide-Free Kinesin
Cao, Cantos-Fernandes, and Giganta report structural data on the nucleotide release stage of the kinesin-1 mechanochemical cycle.

GTPase Activity–Coupled Treadmilling of the Bacterial Tubulin FtsZ Organizes Septal Cell Wall Synthesis
This Science article demonstrates that FtsZ treadmilling promotes proper septal cell wall synthesis in dividing E. coli cells.

Microtubule Associated Protein-4 (MAP4) Controls Nanovesicle Dynamics and T Cell Activation
The microtubule network promotes T Cell activation during an adaptive immune response.

January 2017

Protein Self-Assembly onto Nanodots Leads to Formation of Conductive Bio-Based Hybrids
The inherent self-assembly of tubulin can be exploited in the development of next generation nanowires.

Novel Arabidopsis Microtubule-Associated Proteins Track Growing Microtubule Plus Ends
This study reports a novel family of microtubule plus-end tracking proteins in plants, unlocking the potential for new mechanistic insight into + TIPs.

Mitotic Cell Death Induction by Targeting the Mitotic Spindle with Tubulin-Inhibitory Indole Derivative Molecules
Arylthioindoles (ATIs), a new class of tubulin inhibitors, similarly block mitotic progression yet differentially affect cell fate.

December 2016

The Mitotic Kinesin-14 KlpA Contains a Context-Dependent Directionality Switch
Kinesin-14s are historically minus-end directed motors, but Popchock et al. uncover a scenario in which KlpA walks processively toward microtubule plus-ends.

Synthesis, in vitro and in vivo Evaluation of New Hybrids of Millepachine and Phenstatin as Potent Tubulin Polymerization Inhibitors
This study by An et al. serves as one example as to how biochemists are adapting canonical tubulin inhibitors into more efficacious chemotherapies.

Acetylated Tubulin Is Essential for Touch Sensation in Mice
Microtubule acetylation plays a role in mechanosensing as described in this eLife article.

November 2016

A Regulatory Switch Alters Chromosome Motions at the Metaphase-to-Anaphase Transition
The Cheeseman lab uses a well-rounded cell biology approach to address the termination of chromosome oscillations at the onset of anaphase.

Branch-Specific Microtubule Destabilization Mediates Axon Branch Loss during Neuromuscular Synapse Elimination
Brill et al. uncover a physiological role for microtubule severing in axon remodeling in this must read article.

Adaptive Resistance to an Inhibitor of Chromosomal Instability in Human Cancer Cells
The Compton lab addresses the role of chromosomal instability in chemotherapeutic drug resistance.


June 2017

Enhanced Depolymerization of Actin Filaments by ADF/Cofilin and Monomer Funneling by Capping Protein Cooperate to Accelerate Barbed-End Growth
Shashank Shekhar and Marie-France Carlier use microfluidics-assisted TIRF microscopy to visualize actin monomer funneling at the individual filament scale.

Fronts and Waves of Actin Polymerization in a Bistability-Based Mechanism of Circular Dorsal Ruffles
Actin polymerization wave fronts at the dorsal cell membrane display bistable kinetics according to theoretical predictions and experimental observations.

Phosphoinositide-Dependent Enrichment of Actin Monomers in Dendritic Spines Regulates Synapse Development and Plasticity
This JCB article proposes a novel mechanism by which local pools of G-actin in dendritic spines regulate synapse development and plasticity.

May 2017

Myosin Va Molecular Motors Manoeuvre Liposome Cargo Through Suspended Actin Filament Intersections in vitro
The Warshaw group observes the direction cargo-bound motor ensembles take when encountering an intersection of actin filaments in 3-dimensional space.

Transmission of Cytokinesis Forces via E-Cadherin Dilution and Actomyosin Flows
In this Nature letter the authors propose a mechanotransduction cascade that coordinates the actomyosin dynamics between dividing cells and their neighboring cells.

Myosin Va’s Adaptor Protein Melanophilin Enforces Track Selection on the Microtubule and Actin Networks in vitro
Oberhofer et al. argue that a phospho-switch toggles melanosome transport between actin and microtubule cytoskeletal networks.

March 2017

Efficiency of Lamellipodia Protrusion Is Determined by the Extent of Cytosolic Actin Assembly
Lamellipodia protrusion is influenced by the extent of actin polymerization in the cell body.

Probing Cytoskeletal Modulation of Passive and Active Intracellular Dynamics Using Nanobody-Functionalized Quantum Dots
The Kapitein lab utilizes quantum dots to measure active and passive intracellular transport and demonstrate the spatial heterogeneity of the cytoskeleton.

Re-Evaluating the Roles of Myosin 18Aα and F-Actin in Determining Golgi Morphology
Bruun et al. provide their view on how the actin cytoskeleton influences Golgi shape.

February 2017

Motor Activity Dependent and Independent Functions of Myosin II Contribute to Actomyosin Ring Assembly and Contraction in Schizosaccharomyces pombe
This Current Biology report clarifies the motor independent and dependent roles of Myosin II in the assembly and contraction of the actomyosin ring during cell division in yeast.

The ER Stress Sensor PERK Coordinates ER-Plasma Membrane Contact Site Formation through Interaction with Filamin-A and F-Actin Remodeling
The actin cytoskeleton plays a role in mediating the response of the ER stress sensor PERK.

Oxidation of F-Actin Controls the Terminal Steps of Cytokinesis
Oxidation-mediated depolymerization of actin at the intercellular bridge is key for successful abscission during cytokinesis.

January 2017

Long-Range Self-Organization of Cytoskeletal Myosin II Filament Stacks
Stunning images obtained by structured illumination microscopy reveal the self-organization of the actomyosin cytoskeleton.

Filopodia Formation And Endosome Clustering Induced By Mutant Plus-End–Directed Myosin VI
Masters and Buss examine the consequences of tricking a conventionally minus-end directed myosin into walking toward the plus end of actin filaments.

Relaxed And Active Thin Filament Structures; A New Structural Basis For The Regulatory Mechanism
New electron microscopy data on muscle actin structure motivate an updated model of thin filament regulation.

December 2016

Control of Nuclear Organization by F-Actin Binding Proteins
A role for F-actin bundling in nuclear plasticity is uncovered in this study by Pfisterer, Jayo, and Parsons.

The Ultrastructural Organization of Actin and Myosin II Filaments in the Contractile Ring: New Support for an Old Model of Cytokinesis
The Shuster lab utilizes state-of-the-art microscopy to examine the ultrastructural organization of Actin and Myosin II in the contractile ring.

Vincristine Alleviates Adriamycin-Induced Nephropathy Through Stabilizing Actin Cytoskeleton
The anti-nephrotic effects of Vincristine are mediated by the actin cytoskeleton as described by Yin et al.

November 2016

Plastin 1 Widens Stereocilia by Transforming Actin Filament Packing from Hexagonal to Liquid
Krey et al. studies the effect of an actin cross linker in filament packing within stereocilia.

Simultaneous Quantification of Actin Monomer and Filament Dynamics with Modeling Assisted Analysis of Photoactivation
Kapustina, Read, and Vitriol describe a new way of modeling photoactivation data.

Formin-Generated Actomyosin Arcs Propel T Cell Receptor Microcluster Movement at the Immune Synapse
The Hammer lab uses superresolution microscopy to study actin arcs in T cells.