Transcriptional control of gene expression by actin and myosin

Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2009;272:107-47. doi: 10.1016/S1937-6448(08)01603-1.


Recent years have witnessed a new turn in the field of gene expression regulation. Actin and an ever-growing family of actin-associated proteins have been accepted as members of the nuclear crew, regulating eukaryotic gene transcription. In complex with heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins and certain myosin species, actin has been shown to be an important regulator in RNA polymerase II transcription. Furthermore, actin-based molecular motors are believed to facilitate RNA polymerase I transcription and possibly downstream events during rRNA biogenesis. Probably these findings represent the tip of the iceberg of a rapidly expanding area within the functional architecture of the cell nucleus. Further studies will contribute to clarify how actin mediates nuclear functions with a glance to cytoplasmic signalling. These discoveries have the potential to define novel regulatory networks required to control gene expression at multiple levels.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / genetics
  • Actins / physiology*
  • Actomyosin / genetics
  • Actomyosin / physiology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / genetics
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myosins / genetics
  • Myosins / physiology*
  • RNA Polymerase II / genetics
  • RNA Polymerase II / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Ribosomal / genetics
  • RNA, Ribosomal / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*


  • Actins
  • Chromatin
  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Ribosomal
  • Actomyosin
  • RNA Polymerase II
  • Myosins