Image of the Day: Actin Burst

Researchers are looking at actin polymerization and calcium uptake in human cells to study mitochondrial division.

The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff
Dec 6, 2017

A human osteosarcoma cell labeled for actin filaments (green) and mitochondrial calcium (red) whilst treated with ionomycinRAJARSHI CHAKRABARTI, GEISEL SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT DARTMOUTH Actin polymerization and calcium signaling play an important role in division of mitochondria. To study this process in depth, researchers treated human osteosarcoma cells with a specific compound—ionomycin—to raise the calcium levels within them. This caused a rapid polymerization of actin filaments, quickly followed by an increase in mitochondrial calcium.

R. Chakrabarti et al., “INF2-mediated actin polymerization at the ER stimulates mitochondrial calcium uptake, inner membrane constriction, and division,” J Cell Biol, doi:10.1083/jcb.201709111, 2017.