Redox regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics during differentiation and de-differentiation

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2015 Aug;1850(8):1575-87. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2014.10.030. Epub 2014 Nov 8.


Background: The cytoskeleton, unlike the bony vertebrate skeleton or the exoskeleton of invertebrates, is a highly dynamic meshwork of protein filaments that spans through the cytosol of eukaryotic cells. Especially actin filaments and microtubuli do not only provide structure and points of attachments, but they also shape cells, they are the basis for intracellular transport and distribution, all types of cell movement, and--through specific junctions and points of adhesion--join cells together to form tissues, organs, and organisms.

Scope of review: The fine tuned regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics is thus indispensible for cell differentiation and all developmental processes. Here, we discussed redox signalling mechanisms that control this dynamic remodeling. Foremost, we emphasised recent discoveries that demonstrated reversible thiol and methionyl switches in the regulation of actin dynamics.

Major conclusions: Thiol and methionyl switches play an essential role in the regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics.

General significance: The dynamic remodeling of the cytoskeleton is controlled by various redox switches. These mechanisms are indispensible during development and organogenesis and might contribute to numerous pathological conditions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Redox regulation of differentiation and de-differentiation.

Keywords: Cytoskeleton remodeling; Glutaredoxin; Methionine sulfoxide reductase; Redox signaling; Redox switch; Thioredoxin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Dedifferentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins