Cracking up: symmetry breaking in cellular systems

E. Paluch, J. van der Gucht, C. Sykes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    48 Citations (Scopus)


    The shape of animal cells is, to a large extent, determined by the cortical actin network that underlies the cell membrane. Because of the presence of myosin motors, the actin cortex is under tension, and local relaxation of this tension can result in cortical flows that lead to deformation and polarization of the cell. Cortex relaxation is often regulated by polarizing signals, but the cortex can also rupture and relax spontaneously. A similar tension-induced polarization is observed in actin gels growing around beads, and we propose that a common mechanism governs actin gel rupture in both systems
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)687-692
    JournalJournal of Cell Biology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • cortical tension
    • myosin-ii
    • surface-receptors
    • eukaryotic cells
    • cleavage furrow
    • animal-cells
    • actin
    • cytokinesis
    • dynamics
    • phosphorylation

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