GMF is a cofilin homolog that binds Arp2/3 complex to stimulate filament debranching and inhibit actin nucleation

Curr Biol. 2010 May 11;20(9):861-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.03.026. Epub 2010 Apr 1.


Cell locomotion and endocytosis are powered by the rapid polymerization and turnover of branched actin filament networks nucleated by Arp2/3 complex. Although a large number of cellular factors have been identified that stimulate Arp2/3 complex-mediated actin nucleation, only a small number of studies so far have addressed which factors promote actin network debranching. Here, we investigated the function of a conserved homolog of ADF/cofilin, glia maturation factor (GMF). We found that S. cerevisiae GMF (also called Aim7) localizes in vivo to cortical actin patches and displays synthetic genetic interactions with ADF/cofilin. However, GMF lacks detectable actin binding or severing activity and instead binds tightly to Arp2/3 complex. Using in vitro evanescent wave microscopy, we demonstrated that GMF potently stimulates debranching of actin filaments produced by Arp2/3 complex. Further, GMF inhibits nucleation of new daughter filaments. Together, these data suggest that GMF binds Arp2/3 complex to both "prune" daughter filaments at the branch points and inhibit new actin assembly. These activities and its genetic interaction with ADF/cofilin support a role for GMF in promoting the remodeling and/or disassembly of branched networks. Therefore, ADF/cofilin and GMF, members of the same superfamily, appear to have evolved to interact with actin and actin-related proteins, respectively, and to make mechanistically distinct contributions to the remodeling of cortical actin structures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex / metabolism*
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Cofilin 1 / genetics
  • Glia Maturation Factor / genetics
  • Glia Maturation Factor / metabolism*
  • Glia Maturation Factor / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology


  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex
  • Actins
  • Cofilin 1
  • Glia Maturation Factor