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Title: Calcium regulation of an actin spring
Authors: Tam, B.K.
Shin, J.H.
Pfeiffer, E.
Matsudaira, P. 
Mahadevan, L.
Issue Date: 19-Aug-2009
Citation: Tam, B.K., Shin, J.H., Pfeiffer, E., Matsudaira, P., Mahadevan, L. (2009-08-19). Calcium regulation of an actin spring. Biophysical Journal 97 (4) : 1125-1129. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Calcium is essential for many biological processes involved in cellular motility. However, the pathway by which calcium influences motility, in processes such as muscle contraction and neuronal growth, is often indirect and complex. We establish a simple and direct mechanochemical link that shows how calcium quantitatively regulates the dynamics of a primitive motile system, the actin-based acrosomal bundle of horseshoe crab sperm. The extension of this bundle requires the continuous presence of external calcium. Furthermore, the extension rate increases with calcium concentration, but at a given concentration, we find that the volumetric rate of extension is constant. Our experiments and theory suggest that calcium sequentially binds to calmodulin molecules decorating the actin filaments. This binding leads to a collective wave of untwisting of the actin filaments that drives bundle extension. © 2009 by the Biophysical Society.
Source Title: Biophysical Journal
ISSN: 00063495
DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2009.02.069
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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