Nuclear actin and actin-binding proteins in the regulation of transcription and gene expression

FEBS J. 2009 May;276(10):2669-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.06986.x.


Nuclear actin is involved in the transcription of all three RNA polymerases, in chromatin remodeling and in the formation of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein complexes, as well as in recruitment of the histone modifier to the active gene. In addition, actin-binding proteins (ABPs) control actin nucleation, bundling, filament capping, fragmentation and monomer availability in the cytoplasm. In recent years, more and more attention has focused on the role of actin and ABPs in the modulation of the subcellular localization of transcriptional regulators. This review focuses on recent developments in the study of transcription and transcriptional regulation by nuclear actin, and the regulation of muscle-specific gene expression, nuclear receptor and transcription complexes by ABPs. Among the ABPs, striated muscle activator of Rho signaling and actin-binding LIM protein regulate actin dynamics and serum response factor-dependent muscle-specific gene expression. Functionally and structurally unrelated cytoplasmic ABPs interact cooperatively with nuclear receptor and regulate its transactivation. Furthermore, ABPs also participate in the formation of transcription complexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Microfilament Proteins / physiology*
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*


  • Actins
  • Microfilament Proteins