Intrinsic capability of budding yeast cofilin to promote turnover of tropomyosin-bound actin filaments

PLoS One. 2008;3(11):e3641. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003641. Epub 2008 Nov 4.


The ability of actin filaments to function in cell morphogenesis and motility is closely coupled to their dynamic properties. Yeast cells contain two prominent actin structures, cables and patches, both of which are rapidly assembled and disassembled. Although genetic studies have shown that rapid actin turnover in patches and cables depends on cofilin, how cofilin might control cable disassembly remains unclear, because tropomyosin, a component of actin cables, is thought to protect actin filaments against the depolymerizing activity of ADF/cofilin. We have identified cofilin as a yeast tropomyosin (Tpm1) binding protein through Tpm1 affinity column and mass spectrometry. Using a variety of assays, we show that yeast cofilin can efficiently depolymerize and sever yeast actin filaments decorated with either Tpm1 or mouse tropomyosins TM1 and TM4. Our results suggest that yeast cofilin has the intrinsic ability to promote actin cable turnover, and that the severing activity may rely on its ability to bind Tpm1.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cofilin 1 / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / cytology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae* / metabolism
  • Tropomyosin / metabolism*


  • Cofilin 1
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Tropomyosin