Cell-cell fusion is an indispensable process in the conception, development and physiology of multicellular organisms. Here we demonstrate a direct and noncanonical role for dynamin, best known as a fission GTPase in endocytosis, in cell-cell fusion. Our genetic and cell biological analyses show that dynamin colocalizes within the F-actin-enriched podosome-like structures at the fusogenic synapse, which is required for generating invasive membrane protrusions and myoblast fusion in vivo, in an endocytosis-independent manner. Biochemical, negative stain EM and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) analyses revealed that dynamin forms helices that directly bundles actin filaments by capturing multiple actin filaments at their outer rim via interactions with dynamin’s proline-rich domain. GTP hydrolysis by dynamin triggers disassembly of the dynamin helix, exposes the sides of the actin filaments, promotes dynamic Arp2/3-mediated branched actin polymerization, and generates a mechanically stiff actin network. Thus, dynamin functions as a unique actin-bundling protein that enhances mechanical force generation by the F-actin network in a GTPase-dependent manner. Our findings have universal implications for understanding dynamin-actin interactions in various cellular processes beyond cell-cell fusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)