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Book Chapter

Reconstitution of a Minimal Actin Cortex by Coupling Actin Filaments to Reconstituted Membranes


Vogel,  Sven K.
Schwille, Petra / Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Vogel, S. K. (2016). Reconstitution of a Minimal Actin Cortex by Coupling Actin Filaments to Reconstituted Membranes. In Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 1365. Cytoskeleton: Methods and Protocols (pp. 213-223). TOTOWA, NJ: HUMANA PRESS INC.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-5588-9
A thin layer of actin filaments in many eukaryotic cell types drives pivotal aspects of cell morphogenesis and is generally cited as the actin cortex. Myosin driven contractility and actin cytoskeleton membrane interactions form the basis of fundamental cellular processes such as cytokinesis, cell migration, and cortical flows. How the interplay between the actin cytoskeleton, the membrane, and actin binding proteins drives these processes is far from being understood. The complexity of the actin cortex in living cells and the hardly feasible manipulation of the omnipotent cellular key players, namely actin, myosin, and the membrane, are challenging in order to gain detailed insights about the underlying mechanisms. Recent progress in developing bottom-up in vitro systems where the actin cytoskeleton is combined with reconstituted membranes may provide a complementary route to reveal general principles underlying actin cortex properties. In this chapter the reconstitution of a minimal actin cortex by coupling actin filaments to a supported membrane is described. This minimal system may be very well suited to study for example protein interactions on membrane bound actin filaments in a very controlled and quantitative manner as it may be difficult to perform in living systems.