DICTIONARY - CELL STRUCTUREi

Actin filaments


 Staining of actin filaments in human cell line U-2 OS (HPA070701)
Scale bar represents 10µm

Actin filaments

Actin filaments are assembled close to the plasma membrane, either as long, fragile bundles of filaments, or small patches. They make up part of the cell cortex, a supportive layer just beneath the plasma membrane, and are responsible for both cell movement and morphology. Actin filaments end with focal adhesions, which connect the cell to the extracellular matrix.

Immunofluorescent staining

Actin filaments are microfilaments, which make up part of the cellular cytoskeleton. They assemble either as long bundles of filaments or as small patches and make up a part of the cell cortex, a supportive layer just beneath the plasma membrane. In this role they directly interact with focal adhesions, which connect the cell to the extracellular matrix. Together they are responsible for controlling both cell movement and morphology. Actin filaments can also serve as avenues for intracellular vesicle transport and make up the midbody ring, which is essential for cytokinesis.

Read more about the proteome of the actin filaments.