Nano-scale actin-network characterization of fibroblast cells lacking functional Arp2/3 complex

Karen L. Anderson, Christopher Page, Mark F. Swift, Praveen Suraneni, Mandy E.W. Janssen, Thomas D. Pollard, Rong Li, Niels Volkmann, Dorit Hanein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Arp2/3 complex is thought to be the primary protrusive force generator in cell migration by controlling the assembly and turnover of the branched filament network that pushes the leading edge of moving cells forward. However, mouse fibroblasts without functional Arp2/3 complex migrate at rates similar to wild-type cells, contradicting this paradigm. We show by correlative fluorescence and large-scale cryo-tomography studies combined with automated actin-network analysis that the absence of functional Arp2/3 complex has profound effects on the nano-scale architecture of actin networks. Our quantitative analysis at the single-filament level revealed that cells lacking functional Arp2/3 complex fail to regulate location-dependent fine-tuning of actin filament growth and organization that is distinct from its role in the formation and regulation of dendritic actin networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-321
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Actin networks
  • Correlative imaging
  • Large-scale cellular cryo-tomography
  • Quantitative automated analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology

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