Structure and function of the Arp2/3 complex

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1999 Apr;9(2):244-9. doi: 10.1016/s0959-440x(99)80034-7.


The Arp2/3 complex is a ubiquitous and essential component of the actin cytoskeleton in eukaryotic cells. It nucleates actin filaments, caps their pointed ends and cross-links them into orthogonal networks. In amoeba, vertebrates and fungi, the complex consists of actin-related proteins Arp2 and Arp3 and individual copies of five novel polypeptides. The Arps are thought to mediate pointed-end capping and nucleation. Chemical cross-linking implicates three subunits in binding the complex to the side of another actin filament.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actin-Related Protein 2
  • Actin-Related Protein 3
  • Actins / chemistry*
  • Actins / physiology*
  • Actins / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins*
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Conformation


  • Actin-Related Protein 2
  • Actin-Related Protein 3
  • Actins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances