Peering deeply inside the branch

J Cell Biol. 2008 Mar 10;180(5):853-5. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200802062. Epub 2008 Mar 3.


The actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) story has captivated the cytoskeleton community for over a decade. Not only does this complex nucleate new actin filaments, but it also anchors them into a dendritic meshwork that is used in many cellular contexts such as lamellipodial protrusion, endosome rocketing, and the movement of pathogens. One key piece of this puzzle that has been missing is a detailed structure of the Arp2/3-actin branch. Using electron tomography and computational docking, Rouiller et al. (Rouiller, I., X.-P. Xu, K.J. Amann, C. Egile, S. Nickell, D. Nicastro, R. Li, T.D. Pollard, N. Volkmann, and D. Hanein. 2008. J. Cell Biol. 180:887-895) present an elegant and intriguing structure of the Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin branch.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / chemistry*
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure*
  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex / chemistry*
  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex / ultrastructure*
  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Cytoskeleton / chemistry*
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure*
  • Humans
  • Macromolecular Substances / chemistry
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary / physiology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex
  • Macromolecular Substances