Dictyostelium myosin II mechanochemistry promotes active behavior of the cortex on long time scales

Kristine D. Girard, Scot C Kuo, Douglas Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cell cortices rearrange dynamically to complete cytokinesis, crawl in response to chemoattractant, build tissues, and make neuronal connections. Highly enriched in the cell cortex, actin, myosin II, and actin crosslinkers facilitate cortical movements. Because cortical behavior is the consequence of nanoscale biochemical events, it is essential to probe the cortex at this level. Here, we use high-resolution laser-based particle tracking to examine how myosin II mechanochemistry and dynacortin-mediated actin crosslinking control cortex dynamics in Dictyostelium. Consistent with its low duty ratio, myosin II does not directly drive active bead motility. Instead, myosin II and dynacortin antagonistically regulate other active processes in the living cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2103-2108
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Feb 14 2006



  • Cell mechanics
  • Dynacortin
  • Laser-based particle tracking
  • Nanoscale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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