New publication from the Ulrich lab on the importance of nuclear actin dynamics and associated motors for genome stability

Wollscheid H-P and Ulrich HD (2023) Chromatin meets the cytoskeleton: the importance of nuclear actin dynamics and associated motors for genome stabilityDNA Repair (Amst), doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2023.103571


The actin cytoskeleton is of fundamental importance for numerous cellular processes, including intracellular transport, cell plasticity, and cell migration. However, functions of filamentous actin (F-actin) in the nucleus remain understudied due to the comparatively low abundance of nuclear actin and the resulting experimental limitations to its visualization. Owing to recent technological advances such as super-resolution microscopy and the development of nuclear-specific actin probes, essential roles of the actin cytoskeleton in the context of genome maintenance are now emerging. In addition to the contributions of monomeric actin as a component of multiple important nuclear protein complexes, nuclear actin has been found to undergo polymerization in response to DNA damage and DNA replication stress. Consequently, nuclear F-actin plays important roles in the regulation of intra-nuclear mobility of repair and replication foci as well as the maintenance of nuclear shape, two important aspects of efficient stress tolerance. Beyond actin itself, there is accumulating evidence for the participation of multiple actin-binding proteins (ABPs) in the surveillance of genome integrity, including nucleation factors and motor proteins of the myosin family. Here we summarize recent findings highlighting the importance of actin cytoskeletal factors within the nucleus in key genome maintenance pathways.

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