Ins and outs of ADF/cofilin activity and regulation

Eur J Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;87(8-9):649-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcb.2008.04.001. Epub 2008 May 21.


The actin-binding proteins of the actin-depolymerisation factor (ADF)/cofilin family were first described more than three decades ago, but research on these proteins still occupies a front role in the actin and cell migration field. Moreover, cofilin activity is implicated in the malignant, invasive properties of cancer cells. The effects of ADF/cofilins on actin dynamics are diverse and their regulation is complex. In stimulated cells, multiple signalling pathways can be initiated resulting in different activation/deactivation switches that control ADF/cofilin activity. The output of this entire regulatory system, in combination with spatial and temporal segregation of the activation mechanisms, underlies the contribution of ADF/cofilins to various cell migration/invasion phenotypes. In this framework, we describe current views on how ADF/cofilins function in migrating and invading cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actin Depolymerizing Factors / analysis
  • Actin Depolymerizing Factors / metabolism*
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Actin Depolymerizing Factors
  • Actins
  • Protein Isoforms