Synergistic BAR-NPF interactions in actin-driven membrane remodeling

Trends Cell Biol. 2012 Mar;22(3):141-50. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2012.01.001. Epub 2012 Feb 3.


Cell and organelle shape can profoundly influence proper cellular function. In recent years, two machineries have emerged as major regulators of membrane shape: Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs161/167 (BAR) domain-containing proteins, which induce membrane invaginations or protrusions, and nucleation promoting factors (NPFs), which activate the Arp2/3 complex and are thus responsible for the generation of branched actin networks that push on membranes. Several BAR-NPF interactions have been shown to induce various types of protrusions, such as lamellipodia or filopodia, or invaginations, including trafficking organelles such as caveolae, endosomes and clathrin-coated pits (CCPs). This review focuses on how collaboration between these two interacting machineries, which emerges as a unified mechanism of membrane remodeling, accounts for such a variety of membrane shapes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / chemistry
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / chemistry
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / chemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding


  • Actins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • amphiphysin