Capping protein regulators fine-tune actin assembly dynamics

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2014 Oct;15(10):677-89. doi: 10.1038/nrm3869. Epub 2014 Sep 10.


Capping protein (CP) binds the fast growing barbed end of the actin filament and regulates actin assembly by blocking the addition and loss of actin subunits. Recent studies provide new insights into how CP and barbed-end capping are regulated. Filament elongation factors, such as formins and ENA/VASP (enabled/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein), indirectly regulate CP by competing with CP for binding to the barbed end, whereas other molecules, including V-1 and phospholipids, directly bind to CP and sterically block its interaction with the filament. In addition, a diverse and unrelated group of proteins interact with CP through a conserved 'capping protein interaction' (CPI) motif. These proteins, including CARMIL (capping protein, ARP2/3 and myosin I linker), CD2AP (CD2-associated protein) and the WASH (WASP and SCAR homologue) complex subunit FAM21, recruit CP to specific subcellular locations and modulate its actin-capping activity via allosteric effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actin Capping Proteins / metabolism*
  • Actin Capping Proteins / physiology
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / physiology
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Microfilament Proteins / physiology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates / chemistry
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation


  • Actin Capping Proteins
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • CARMIL1 protein, human
  • CD2-associated protein
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • ENA-VASP proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates
  • WASH protein, human