Jasplakinolide: an actin-specific reagent that promotes actin polymerization

Methods Mol Biol. 2009;586:71-87. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60761-376-3_4.


Jasplakinolide, a cyclo-depsipeptide is a commonly used actin filament polymerizing and stabilizing drug. The substance has originally been isolated from a marine sponge, and can now be synthesized and has become commercially available. This, together with the benefit that jasplakinolide is membrane permeable has made it a commonly used tool in cell biology, when actin filament stabilization or polymerization has to be achieved. This may either be the case in studies on morphogenesis, motility, organelle movement, or when apoptosis has to be induced. Its use as a potent anticancer drug is discussed. The direct action on actin filaments may have further consequences in golgi body and membrane raft protein organization. In this chapter, the visualization of jasplaklinolide effects by different fluorescent and transmission electron microscopic methods is described. As competitive binding capacities of jasplakinolide and phalloidin make the detection of actin filaments by fluorescently labeled phalloidin problematic, alternatives are given here.

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / drug effects*
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Biopolymers
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorophyta / ultrastructure
  • Depsipeptides / chemistry
  • Depsipeptides / pharmacology*
  • Dictyostelium / ultrastructure
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Molecular Structure
  • Molecular Weight
  • Phalloidine / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / ultrastructure
  • Toxoplasma / ultrastructure


  • Biopolymers
  • Depsipeptides
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • jasplakinolide
  • Phalloidine
  • Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate