Arabidopsis actin depolymerizing factor4 modulates the stochastic dynamic behavior of actin filaments in the cortical array of epidermal cells

Plant Cell. 2011 Oct;23(10):3711-26. doi: 10.1105/tpc.111.090670. Epub 2011 Oct 18.


Actin filament arrays are constantly remodeled as the needs of cells change as well as during responses to biotic and abiotic stimuli. Previous studies demonstrate that many single actin filaments in the cortical array of living Arabidopsis thaliana epidermal cells undergo stochastic dynamics, a combination of rapid growth balanced by disassembly from prolific severing activity. Filament turnover and dynamics are well understood from in vitro biochemical analyses and simple reconstituted systems. However, the identification in living cells of the molecular players involved in controlling actin dynamics awaits the use of model systems, especially ones where the power of genetics can be combined with imaging of individual actin filaments at high spatial and temporal resolution. Here, we test the hypothesis that actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin contributes to stochastic filament severing and facilitates actin turnover. A knockout mutant for Arabidopsis ADF4 has longer hypocotyls and epidermal cells when compared with wild-type seedlings. This correlates with a change in actin filament architecture; cytoskeletal arrays in adf4 cells are significantly more bundled and less dense than in wild-type cells. Several parameters of single actin filament turnover are also altered. Notably, adf4 mutant cells have a 2.5-fold reduced severing frequency as well as significantly increased actin filament lengths and lifetimes. Thus, we provide evidence that ADF4 contributes to the stochastic dynamic turnover of actin filaments in plant cells.

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 Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Actin Depolymerizing Factors / genetics
  • Actin Depolymerizing Factors / metabolism*
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / ultrastructure
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Hypocotyl / genetics
  • Hypocotyl / growth & development
  • Hypocotyl / metabolism
  • Hypocotyl / ultrastructure
  • Multigene Family
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Epidermis / genetics
  • Plant Epidermis / growth & development
  • Plant Epidermis / metabolism
  • Plant Epidermis / ultrastructure
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Seedlings / genetics
  • Seedlings / growth & development
  • Seedlings / metabolism
  • Seedlings / ultrastructure
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Time Factors


  • ADF4 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Actin Depolymerizing Factors
  • Actins
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins