Actin filament bundling by fimbrin is important for endocytosis, cytokinesis, and polarization in fission yeast

J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 29;286(30):26964-77. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.239004. Epub 2011 Jun 3.


Through the coordinated action of diverse actin-binding proteins, cells simultaneously assemble actin filaments with distinct architectures and dynamics to drive different processes. Actin filament cross-linking proteins organize filaments into higher order networks, although the requirement of cross-linking activity in cells has largely been assumed rather than directly tested. Fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe assembles actin into three discrete structures: endocytic actin patches, polarizing actin cables, and the cytokinetic contractile ring. The fission yeast filament cross-linker fimbrin Fim1 primarily localizes to Arp2/3 complex-nucleated branched filaments of the actin patch and by a lesser amount to bundles of linear antiparallel filaments in the contractile ring. It is unclear whether Fim1 associates with bundles of parallel filaments in actin cables. We previously discovered that a principal role of Fim1 is to control localization of tropomyosin Cdc8, thereby facilitating cofilin-mediated filament turnover. Therefore, we hypothesized that the bundling ability of Fim1 is dispensable for actin patches but is important for the contractile ring and possibly actin cables. By directly visualizing actin filament assembly using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, we determined that Fim1 bundles filaments in both parallel and antiparallel orientations and efficiently bundles Arp2/3 complex-branched filaments in the absence but not the presence of actin capping protein. Examination of cells exclusively expressing a truncated version of Fim1 that can bind but not bundle actin filaments revealed that bundling activity of Fim1 is in fact important for all three actin structures. Therefore, fimbrin Fim1 has diverse roles as both a filament "gatekeeper" and as a filament cross-linker.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / genetics
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex / genetics
  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytokinesis / physiology*
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism


  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex
  • Cdc8 protein, S pombe
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • plastin