Actin microfilament dynamics in locomoting cells

Nature. 1991 Jul 11;352(6331):126-31. doi: 10.1038/352126a0.


The dynamic behaviour of actin filaments has been directly observed in living, motile cells using fluorescence photoactivation. In goldfish epithelial keratocytes, the actin microfilaments in the lamellipodium remain approximately fixed relative to the substrate as the cell moves over them, regardless of cell speed. The rate of turnover of actin subunits in the lamellipodium is remarkably rapid. Cell movement is directly and tightly coupled to the formation of new actin filaments at the leading edge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Actins / chemistry
  • Actins / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epidermis / ultrastructure*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Goldfish*
  • Half-Life
  • Oxazines
  • Photochemistry
  • Polymers
  • Rabbits


  • Actins
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Oxazines
  • Polymers
  • resorufin