Taking the A-train: actin-based force generators and organelle targeting

Trends Cell Biol. 2003 Sep;13(9):472-7. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(03)00174-0.


The actin-driven process of cytoplasmic streaming in plant cells is widely believed to be the earliest documented example of cytoskeleton-driven organelle movement. In the decades since these seminal findings, two mechanisms of actin-based intracellular movement have been identified in multiple cell types: one is myosin dependent and the other is dependent upon the Arp2/3 complex for actin nucleation and polymerization. Here, we describe mechanisms of force generation and directed movement that use the actin cytoskeleton, as well as those that target actin-dependent force generators to different subcellular compartments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Myosin Type V / metabolism
  • Organelles / physiology*


  • Actins
  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • Myosin Type V