New insights into the regulation and cellular functions of the ARP2/3 complex

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Jan;14(1):7-12. doi: 10.1038/nrm3492. Epub 2012 Dec 5.


The actin-related protein 2/3 (ARP2/3) complex nucleates branched actin filament networks, but requires nucleation promoting factors (NPFs) to stimulate this activity. NPFs include proteins such as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP), neural WASP (NWASP), WASP family verprolin-homologous protein (WAVE; also known as SCAR) and the recently identified WASP and SCAR homologue (WASH) complex. The mechanisms underlying NPF-dependent regulation and the cellular functions of ARP2/3 are being unravelled using new chemical and genetic approaches. Of particular interest is the role of the ARP2/3 complex in vesicular trafficking and directional cell motility.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Transport
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein / metabolism*
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein Family / metabolism*
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein, Neuronal / metabolism*


  • Actin-Related Protein 2-3 Complex
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • WASF1 protein, human
  • WASH protein, human
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein Family
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein, Neuronal