A C-terminal 63-kDa fragment of talin A from Dictyostelium discoideum forms a slowly dissociating complex with F-actin in vitro. This talin fragment (TalC63) has been tagged with GFP and used as a trap for actin filaments in chemotactic cell movement, endocytosis, and mitotic cell division. TalC63 efficiently sequesters actin filaments in vivo. Its translocation reflects the direction and efficiency of an actin flow. Along the body of a migrating Dictyostelium cell, this flow is directed from the front to the tail. If during chemotaxis one or two new fronts are induced, the flow is always directed away from these fronts. The flow thus reflects the re-programming of cell polarity in response to changing gradients of chemoattractant. In endocytosis, the fluorescent complexes are translocated to the base of a phagocytic or macropinocytic cup. During mitosis, the complexes of F-actin with TalC63 accumulate within the midzone of anaphase cells. If TalC63 is strongly expressed, the entire cleavage furrow is filled out by sequestered actin filaments, and cytokinesis is severely impaired. These cells are considered to mimic the phenotype of mutants deficient in the shredding of actin filaments that normally occurs in the mid-zone of a dividing cell.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.