An mDia2 mutant that disrupts the actin cytoskeleton This photo shows the effects of the expression of an altered form of the Diaphanous-related formin (DRF) mDia2, a protein that controls cytoskeletal remodeling. The mutation, an alanine substitution at methionine 1041, disrupts the ability of mDia2 to regulate itself. mDia2 then assumes the “open” conformation and cannot regulate the formation of actin fibers. Red marks the actin fiber network, green marks the expressed protein. This work shows that proper autoregulation of DRF proteins is crucial for normal function. Similar mutations have arisen in human DRF proteins that have led to inherited deafness, infertility, and defects in cell growth. (Wallar and Alberts) 8
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