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In situ cryo-electron tomography reveals filamentous actin within the microtubule lumen

By Danielle M Paul, Judith Mantell, Ufuk Borucu, Jennifer Coombs, Katherine J Surridge, John Squire, Paul Verkade, Mark P Dodding

Posted 18 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/844043

Microtubules and filamentous (F-) actin engage in complex interactions to drive many cellular processes from subcellular organisation to cell division and migration. This is thought to be largely controlled by proteins that interface between the two structurally distinct cytoskeletal components. Here, we use cryo-electron tomography to demonstrate that the microtubule lumen can be occupied by extended segments of F-actin in small-molecule induced, microtubule-based cellular projections. We uncover an unexpected versatility in cytoskeletal form that may prompt a significant development of our current models of cellular architecture and offer a new experimental approach for the in-situ study of microtubule structure and contents.

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