Microtubule disassembly enhances reversible cytochalasin-dependent disruption of actin bundles in characean internodes

I. Foissner*, G. O. Wasteneys

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Parallel bundles of actin filaments at the cortex-endoplasm interface provide tracks for myosin-generated cytoplasmic streaming in characean internodes. These bundles resist disassembly or structural modification when exposed to 10 μM cytochalasin D (CD) even though this concentration of CD rapidly (within minutes) but reversibly arrests streaming. Unexpectedly, we discovered that prolonged treatment with lower concentrations of CD could partially disassemble the subcortical actin bundles. Actin bundles became discontinuous following one- to several-day treatment with concentrations (6 μM) that reduced but did not arrest streaming, and the residual fragments mostly remained parallel to the chloroplast files. When microtubules were concurrently disassembled with tubulin-specific drugs, however, low CD concentrations (2.5-3 μM) completely arrested bulk streaming, disrupted the largely 2-dimensional actin bundle array and caused the formation of a coarse, thick-meshed actin network that extended from the cortex to the endoplasm. Despite such massive reconstruction, drug removal enabled cells to recover continuous parallel bundles and streaming. Recovery was possible if both or just one of the drugs were removed. In recovered cells, the streaming pattern frequently redeveloped in new directions that did not follow the chloroplast files, and later, chloroplast files readjusted to the new polarity established by the actin bundles. This first report on the complete and reversible disassembly of characean actin bundles provides new insights into the mechanism of actin bundle assembly and organization and supports the idea of indirect interactions between actin filaments and microtubules.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)33-44
    Number of pages12
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


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