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The actin cortex at a glance

Chugh, P; Paluch, EK; (2018) The actin cortex at a glance. Journal of Cell Science , 131 (14) , Article jcs186254. 10.1242/jcs.186254. Green open access

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Abstract

Precisely controlled cell deformations are key to cell migration, division and tissue morphogenesis, and have been implicated in cell differentiation during development, as well as cancer progression. In animal cells, shape changes are primarily driven by the cellular cortex, a thin actomyosin network that lies directly underneath the plasma membrane. Myosin-generated forces create tension in the cortical network, and gradients in tension lead to cellular deformations. Recent studies have provided important insight into the molecular control of cortical tension by progressively unveiling cortex composition and organization. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we review our current understanding of cortex composition and architecture. We then discuss how the microscopic properties of the cortex control cortical tension. While many open questions remain, it is now clear that cortical tension can be modulated through both cortex composition and organization, providing multiple levels of regulation for this key cellular property during cell and tissue morphogenesis.

Type: Article
Title: The actin cortex at a glance
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1242/jcs.186254
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.186254
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided that the original work is properly attributed.
Keywords: Actin, Cell shape, Cellular cortex, Contractility, Mechanics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Lab for Molecular Cell Bio MRC-UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10054068
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