Cofilin, a key regulator of actin filament dynamics, binds to G- and F-actin and promotes actin filament turnover by stimulating depolymerization and severance of actin filaments. In this study, cytochalasin D (CytoD), a widely used inhibitor of actin dynamics, was found to act as an inhibitor of the G-actin-cofilin interaction by binding to G-actin. CytoD also inhibited the binding of cofilin to F-actin and decreased the rate of both actin polymerization and depolymerization in living cells. CytoD altered cellular F-actin organization but did not induce net actin polymerization or depolymerization. These results suggest that CytoD inhibits actin filament dynamics in cells via multiple mechanisms, including the well-known barbed-end capping mechanism and as shown in this study, the inhibition of G- and F-actin binding to cofilin.
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