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The physiological function of actin filaments is challenging to dissect because of the pleiotropic impact of global disruption of the actin cytoskeleton. Tropomyosin isoforms have provided a unique opportunity to address this issue. A substantial fraction of actin filaments in animal cells consist of co-polymers of actin with specific tropomyosin isoforms which determine the functional capacity of the filament. Genetic manipulation of the tropomyosins has revealed isoform specific roles and identified the physiological function of the different actin filament types based on their tropomyosin isoform composition. Surprisingly, there is remarkably little redundancy between the tropomyosins resulting in highly penetrant impacts of both ectopic overexpression and knockout of isoforms. The physiological roles of the tropomyosins cover a broad range from development and morphogenesis to cell migration and specialised tissue function and human diseases. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Edna C Hardeman, Nicole S Bryce, Peter W Gunning. Impact of the actin cytoskeleton on cell development and function mediated via tropomyosin isoforms. Seminars in cell & developmental biology. 2020 Jun;102:122-131

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PMID: 31630997

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