T M Svitkina

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (91)674.02 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Class II myosins generate contractile forces in cells by polymerizing into bipolar filaments and pulling on anchored actin filaments. Nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) plays central roles during cell adhesion, migration, cytokinesis, and tissue morphogenesis. NMII is present in virtually all mammalian cell types as tissue-specific combinations of NMIIA, NMIIB, and NMIIC isoforms. It remains poorly understood how the highly dynamic NMII-actin contractile system begins to assemble at new cellular locations during cell migration and how incorporation of different NMII isoforms into this system is coordinated.
    Current biology : CB. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Microtubule (MT) plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs) preferentially localize to MT plus ends. End-binding proteins (EBs) are master regulators of the +TIP complex; however, it is unknown whether EBs are regulated by other +TIPs. Here, we show that cytoplasmic linker-associated proteins (CLASPs) modulate EB localization at MTs. In CLASP-depleted cells, EBs localized along the MT lattice in addition to plus ends. The MT-binding region of CLASP was sufficient for restoring normal EB localization, whereas neither EB-CLASP interactions nor EB tail-binding proteins are involved. In vitro assays revealed that CLASP directly functions to remove EB from MTs. Importantly, this effect occurs specifically during MT polymerization, but not at preformed MTs. Increased GTP-tubulin content within MTs in CLASP-depleted cells suggests that CLASPs facilitate GTP hydrolysis to reduce EB lattice binding. Together, these findings suggest that CLASPs influence the MT lattice itself to regulate EB and determine exclusive plus-end localization of EBs in cells.
    Developmental cell. 08/2014; 30(3):343-52.
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    Steven L Jones, Farida Korobova, Tatyana Svitkina
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    ABSTRACT: The axon initial segment (AIS) of differentiated neurons regulates action potential initiation and axon-dendritic polarity. The latter function depends on actin dynamics, but actin structure and functions at the AIS remain unclear. Using platinum replica electron microscopy (PREM), we have characterized the architecture of the AIS cytoskeleton in mature and developing hippocampal neurons. The AIS cytoskeleton assembly begins with bundling of microtubules and culminates in formation of a dense, fibrillar-globular coat over microtubule bundles. Immunogold PREM revealed that the coat contains a network of known AIS proteins, including ankyrin G, spectrin βIV, neurofascin, neuronal cell adhesion molecule, voltage-gated sodium channels, and actin filaments. Contrary to existing models, we find neither polarized actin arrays, nor dense actin meshworks in the AIS. Instead, the AIS contains two populations of sparse actin filaments: short, stable filaments and slightly longer dynamic filaments. We propose that stable actin filaments play a structural role for formation of the AIS diffusion barrier, whereas dynamic actin may promote AIS coat remodeling.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 04/2014; · 10.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Rho family GTPase effector IRSp53 has essential roles in filopodia formation and neuronal development, but its regulatory mechanism is poorly understood. IRSp53 contains a membrane-binding BAR domain followed by an unconventional CRIB motif that overlaps with a proline-rich region (CRIB-PR) and an SH3 domain that recruits actin cytoskeleton effectors. Using a fluorescence reporter assay, we show that human IRSp53 adopts a closed inactive conformation that opens synergistically with the binding of human Cdc42 to the CRIB-PR and effector proteins, such as the tumor-promoting factor Eps8, to the SH3 domain. The crystal structure of Cdc42 bound to the CRIB-PR reveals a new mode of effector binding to Rho family GTPases. Structure-inspired mutations disrupt autoinhibition and Cdc42 binding in vitro and decouple Cdc42- and IRSp53-dependent filopodia formation in cells. The data support a combinatorial mechanism of IRSp53 activation.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 03/2014; · 11.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CARMIL is an approximately 1,370-amino-acid cytoskeletal scaffold that has crucial roles in cell motility and tissue development through interactions with cytoskeletal effectors and regulation of capping protein at the leading edge. However, the mechanism of CARMIL leading edge localization is unknown. Here we show that CARMIL interacts directly with the plasma membrane through its amino-terminal region. The crystal structure of CARMIL1-668 reveals that this region harbours a non-canonical pleckstrin homology (PH) domain connected to a 16-leucine-rich repeat domain. Lipid binding is mediated by the PH domain, but is further enhanced by a central helical domain. Small-angle X-ray scattering reveals that the helical domain mediates antiparallel dimerization, properly positioning the PH domains for simultaneous membrane interaction. In cells, deletion of the PH domain impairs leading edge localization. The results support a direct membrane-binding mechanism for CARMIL localization at the leading edge, where it regulates cytoskeletal effectors and motility.
    Nature Communications 09/2013; 4:2523. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dynamic shape changes of the plasma membrane are fundamental to many processes, ranging from morphogenesis and cell migration to phagocytosis and viral propagation. Here, we demonstrate that Exo70, a component of the exocyst complex, induces tubular membrane invaginations toward the lumen of synthetic vesicles in vitro and generates protrusions on the surface of cells. Biochemical analyses using Exo70 mutants and independent molecular dynamics simulations based on Exo70 structure demonstrate that Exo70 generates negative membrane curvature through an oligomerization-based mechanism. In cells, the membrane-deformation function of Exo70 is required for protrusion formation and directional cell migration. Exo70 thus represents a membrane-bending protein that may couple actin dynamics and plasma membrane remodeling for morphogenesis.
    Developmental Cell 08/2013; 26(3):266-78. · 12.86 Impact Factor
  • Tatyana M Svitkina
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    ABSTRACT: The actin cytoskeleton is the major force-generating machinery in the cell, which can produce pushing, pulling, and resistance forces. To accomplish these diverse functions, actin filaments, with help of numerous accessory proteins, form higher order ensembles, networks and bundles, adapted to specific tasks. Moreover, dynamic properties of the actin cytoskeleton allow a cell to constantly build, renew, and redesign actin structures according to its changing needs. High resolution architecture of actin filament arrays provides key information for understanding mechanisms of force generation. To generate pushing force, cells use coordinated polymerization of multiple actin filaments organized into branched (dendritic) networks or parallel bundles. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the structural organization of these two actin filament arrays.
    Current opinion in cell biology 04/2013; · 14.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Directional cell migration requires the coordination of actin assembly and membrane remodeling. The exocyst is an octameric protein complex essential for exocytosis and plasma membrane remodeling. A component of the exocyst, Exo70, directly interacts with the Arp2/3 complex, a core nucleating factor for the generation of branched actin networks for cell morphogenesis and migration. Using in vitro actin polymerization assay and time-lapse total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, we found that Exo70 functions as a kinetic activator of the Arp2/3 complex that promotes actin filament nucleation and branching. We further found that the effect of Exo70 on actin is mediated by promoting the interaction of the Arp2/3 complex with WAVE2, a member of the N-WASP/WAVE family of nucleation promoting factors. At the cellular level, the stimulatory effect of Exo70 on the Arp2/3 complex is required for lamellipodia formation and maintaining directional persistence of cell migration. Our findings provide a novel mechanism for regulating actin polymerization and branching for effective membrane protrusion during cell morphogenesis and migration.
    Current biology: CB 06/2012; 22(16):1510-5. · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Axon branching is fundamental to the development of the peripheral and central nervous system. Branches that sprout from the axon shaft are termed collateral or interstitial branches. Collateral branching of axons requires the formation of filopodia from actin microfilaments (F-actin) and their engorgement with microtubules (MTs) that splay from the axon shaft. The mechanisms that drive and coordinate the remodeling of actin and MTs during branch morphogenesis are poorly understood. Septins comprise a family of GTP-binding proteins that oligomerize into higher-order structures, which associate with membranes and the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. Here, we show that collateral branching of axons requires SEPT6 and SEPT7, two interacting septins. In the axons of sensory neurons, both SEPT6 and SEPT7 accumulate at incipient sites of filopodia formation. We show that SEPT6 localizes to axonal patches of F-actin and increases the recruitment of cortactin, a regulator of Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerization, triggering the emergence of filopodia. Conversely, SEPT7 promotes the entry of axonal MTs into filopodia, enabling the formation of collateral branches. Surprisingly, septins provide a novel mechanism for the collateral branching of axons by coordinating the remodeling of the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton.
    Current biology: CB 05/2012; 22(12):1109-15. · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polyphosphoinositides (PPIs) and in particular phosphatidylinositol-(4,5)-bisphosphate (PI4,5P2), control many cellular events and bind with variable levels of specificity to hundreds of intracellular proteins in vitro. The much more restricted targeting of proteins to PPIs in cell membranes is thought to result in part from the formation of spatially distinct PIP2 pools, but the mechanisms that cause formation and maintenance of PIP2 clusters are still under debate. The hypothesis that PIP2 forms submicrometer-sized clusters in the membrane by electrostatic interactions with intracellular divalent cations is tested here using lipid monolayer and bilayer model membranes. Competitive binding between Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) to PIP2 is quantified by surface pressure measurements and analyzed by a Langmuir competitive adsorption model. The physical chemical differences among three PIP2 isomers are also investigated. Addition of Ca(2+) but not Mg(2+), Zn(2+), or polyamines to PIP2-containing monolayers induces surface pressure drops coincident with the formation of PIP2 clusters visualized by fluorescence, atomic force, and electron microscopy. Studies of bilayer membranes using steady-state probe-partitioning fluorescence resonance energy transfer (SP-FRET) and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) also reveal divalent metal ion (Me(2+))-induced cluster formation or diffusion retardation, which follows the trend: Ca(2+) ≫ Mg(2+) > Zn(2+), and polyamines have minimal effects. These results suggest that divalent metal ions have substantial effects on PIP2 lateral organization at physiological concentrations, and local fluxes in their cytoplasmic levels can contribute to regulating protein-PIP2 interactions.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 02/2012; 134(7):3387-95. · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    Tatyana M Svitkina
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2012; 109(8):2693-4. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The contractile system of nonmuscle cells consists of interconnected actomyosin networks and bundles anchored to focal adhesions. The initiation of the contractile system assembly is poorly understood structurally and mechanistically, whereas system's maturation heavily depends on nonmuscle myosin II (NMII). Using platinum replica electron microscopy in combination with fluorescence microscopy, we characterized the structural mechanisms of the contractile system assembly and roles of NMII at early stages of this process. We show that inhibition of NMII by a specific inhibitor, blebbistatin, in addition to known effects, such as disassembly of stress fibers and mature focal adhesions, also causes transformation of lamellipodia into unattached ruffles, loss of immature focal complexes, loss of cytoskeleton-associated NMII filaments and peripheral accumulation of activated, but unpolymerized NMII. After blebbistatin washout, assembly of the contractile system begins with quick and coordinated recovery of lamellipodia and focal complexes that occurs before reappearance of NMII bipolar filaments. The initial formation of focal complexes and subsequent assembly of NMII filaments preferentially occurred in association with filopodial bundles and concave actin bundles formed by filopodial roots at the lamellipodial base. Over time, accumulating NMII filaments help to transform the precursor structures, focal complexes and associated thin bundles, into stress fibers and mature focal adhesions. However, semi-sarcomeric organization of stress fibers develops at much slower rate. Together, our data suggest that activation of NMII motor activity by light chain phosphorylation occurs at the cell edge and is uncoupled from NMII assembly into bipolar filaments. We propose that activated, but unpolymerized NMII initiates focal complexes, thus providing traction for lamellipodial protrusion. Subsequently, the mechanical resistance of focal complexes activates a load-dependent mechanism of NMII polymerization in association with attached bundles, leading to assembly of stress fibers and maturation of focal adhesions.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e40814. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Matthew K Hoelzle, Tatyana Svitkina
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    ABSTRACT: The actin cytoskeleton and associated proteins play a vital role in cell-cell adhesion. However, the procedure by which cells establish adherens junctions remains unclear. We investigated the dynamics of cell-cell junction formation and the corresponding architecture of the underlying cytoskeleton in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells. We show that the initial interaction between cells is mediated by protruding lamellipodia. On their retraction, cells maintain contact through thin bridges formed by filopodia-like protrusions connected by VE-cadherin-rich junctions. Bridges share multiple features with conventional filopodia, such as an internal actin bundle associated with fascin along the length and vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein at the tip. It is striking that, unlike conventional filopodia, transformation of actin organization from the lamellipodial network to filopodial bundle during bridge formation occurs in a proximal-to-distal direction and is accompanied by recruitment of fascin in the same direction. Subsequently, bridge bundles recruit nonmuscle myosin II and mature into stress fibers. Myosin II activity is important for bridge formation and accumulation of VE-cadherin in nascent adherens junctions. Our data reveal a mechanism of cell-cell junction formation in endothelial cells using lamellipodia as the initial protrusive contact, subsequently transforming into filopodia-like bridges connected through adherens junctions. Moreover, a novel lamellipodia-to-filopodia transition is used in this context.
    Molecular biology of the cell 11/2011; 23(2):310-23. · 5.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Accumulation of filamentous actin (F-actin) at the immunological synapse (IS) is a prerequisite for the cytotoxic function of natural killer (NK) cells. Subsequent to reorganization of the actin network, lytic granules polarize to the IS where their contents are secreted directly toward a target cell, providing critical access to host defense. There has been limited investigation into the relationship between the actin network and degranulation. Thus, we have evaluated the actin network and secretion using microscopy techniques that provide unprecedented resolution and/or functional insight. We show that the actin network extends throughout the IS and that degranulation occurs in areas where there is actin, albeit in sub-micron relatively hypodense regions. Therefore we propose that granules reach the plasma membrane in clearances in the network that are appropriately sized to minimally accommodate a granule and allow it to interact with the filaments. Our data support a model whereby lytic granules and the actin network are intimately associated during the secretion process and broadly suggest a mechanism for the secretion of large organelles in the context of a cortical actin barrier.
    PLoS Biology 09/2011; 9(9):e1001151. · 12.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) flexibly adapt to different microenvironments by using diverse migration strategies that are ultimately dependent on the dynamics and structural organization of the actin cytoskeleton. Here, we have shown that DCs require the actin capping activity of the signaling adaptor Eps8 to polarize and to form elongated migratory protrusions. DCs from Eps8-deficient mice are impaired in directional and chemotactic migration in 3D in vitro and are delayed in reaching the draining lymph node (DLN) in vivo after inflammatory challenge. Hence, Eps8-deficient mice are unable to mount a contact hypersensitivity response. We have also shown that the DC migratory defect is cell autonomous and that Eps8 is required for the proper architectural organization of the actin meshwork and dynamics of cell protrusions. Yet, Eps8 is not necessary for antigen uptake, processing, and presentation. Thus, we have identified Eps8 as a unique actin capping protein specifically required for DC migration.
    Immunity 08/2011; 35(3):388-99. · 19.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The dynamic actin cytoskeleton plays an important role in clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). However, its exact functions remain uncertain as a result of a lack of high-resolution structural information regarding actin architecture at endocytic sites. Using platinum replica electron microscopy in combination with electron tomography, we found that actin patches associated with clathrin-coated structures (CCSs) in cultured mouse cells consist of a densely branched actin network, in which actin filament barbed ends are oriented toward the CCS. The shape of the actin network varied from a small lateral patch at the periphery of shallow CCSs, to a collar-like arrangement around partly invaginated CCSs with actin filament barbed ends abutting the CCS neck, to a polarized comet tail in association with highly constricted or fully endocytosed CCSs. Our data suggest that the primary role of the actin cytoskeleton in CME is to constrict and elongate the bud neck and drive the endocytosed vesicles from the plasma membrane. Moreover, in these processes, barbed ends directly push onto the load, as in a conventional propulsion mechanism. Based on our findings, we propose a model for initiation, evolution, and function of the dendritic actin network at CCSs.
    Current biology: CB 06/2011; 21(14):1167-75. · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fascin is the main actin filament bundling protein in filopodia. Because of the important role filopodia play in cell migration, fascin is emerging as a major target for cancer drug discovery. However, an understanding of the mechanism of bundle formation by fascin is critically lacking. Fascin consists of four β-trefoil domains. Here, we show that fascin contains two major actin-binding sites, coinciding with regions of high sequence conservation in β-trefoil domains 1 and 3. The site in β-trefoil-1 is located near the binding site of the fascin inhibitor macroketone and comprises residue Ser-39, whose phosphorylation by protein kinase C down-regulates actin bundling and formation of filopodia. The site in β-trefoil-3 is related by pseudo-2-fold symmetry to that in β-trefoil-1. The two sites are ∼5 nm apart, resulting in a distance between actin filaments in the bundle of ∼8.1 nm. Residue mutations in both sites disrupt bundle formation in vitro as assessed by co-sedimentation with actin and electron microscopy and severely impair formation of filopodia in cells as determined by rescue experiments in fascin-depleted cells. Mutations of other areas of the fascin surface also affect actin bundling and formation of filopodia albeit to a lesser extent, suggesting that, in addition to the two major actin-binding sites, fascin makes secondary contacts with other filaments in the bundle. In a high resolution crystal structure of fascin, molecules of glycerol and polyethylene glycol are bound in pockets located within the two major actin-binding sites. These molecules could guide the rational design of new anticancer fascin inhibitors.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2011; 286(34):30087-96. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The emergence of axonal filopodia is the first step in the formation of axon collateral branches. In vitro, axonal filopodia emerge from precursor cytoskeletal structures termed actin patches. However, nothing is known about the cytoskeletal dynamics of the axon leading to the formation of filopodia in the relevant tissue environment. In this study we investigated the role of the actin nucleating Arp2/3 complex in the formation of sensory axon actin patches, filopodia, and branches. By combining in ovo chicken embryo electroporation mediated gene delivery with a novel acute ex vivo spinal cord preparation, we demonstrate that actin patches form along sensory axons and give rise to filopodia in situ. Inhibition of Arp2/3 complex function in vitro and in vivo decreases the number of axonal filopodia. In vitro, Arp2/3 complex subunits and upstream regulators localize to actin patches. Analysis of the organization of actin filaments in actin patches using platinum replica electron microscopy reveals that patches consist of networks of actin filaments, and filaments in axonal filopodia exhibit an organization consistent with the Arp2/3-based convergent elongation mechanism. Nerve growth factor (NGF) promotes formation of axonal filopodia and branches through phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K). Inhibition of the Arp2/3 complex impairs NGF/PI3K-induced formation of axonal actin patches, filopodia, and the formation of collateral branches. Collectively, these data reveal that the Arp2/3 complex contributes to the formation of axon collateral branches through its involvement in the formation of actin patches leading to the emergence of axonal filopodia.
    Developmental Neurobiology 05/2011; 71(9):747-58. · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    Changsong Yang, Tatyana Svitkina
    Nature Cell Biology 01/2011; 13(9):1012-3; author reply 1013-4. · 20.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The formin mDia2 mediates the formation of lamellipodia and filopodia during cell locomotion. The subcellular localization of activated mDia2 depends on interactions with actin filaments and the plasma membrane. We investigated the poorly understood mechanism of plasma membrane targeting of mDia2 and found that the entire N-terminal region of mDia2 preceding the actin-polymerizing formin homology domains 1 and 2 (FH1-FH2) module was potently targeted to the membrane. This localization was enhanced by Rif, but not by other tested small GTPases, and depended on a positively charged N-terminal basic domain (BD). The BD bound acidic phospholipids in vitro, suggesting that in vivo it may associate with the plasma membrane through electrostatic interactions. Unexpectedly, a fragment consisting of the GTPase-binding region and the diaphanous inhibitory domain (G-DID), thought to mediate the interaction with GTPases, was not targeted to the plasma membrane even in the presence of constitutively active Rif. Addition of the BD or dimerization/coiled coil domains to G-DID rescued plasma membrane targeting in cells. Direct binding of Rif to mDia2 N terminus required the presence of both G and DID. These results suggest that the entire N terminus of mDia2 serves as a coincidence detection module, directing mDia2 to the plasma membrane through interactions with phospholipids and activated Rif.
    Molecular biology of the cell 01/2011; 22(2):189-201. · 5.98 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

6k Citations
674.02 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2004–2014
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Biology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 2011
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Physiology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2003–2007
    • Northwestern University
      • Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
      Evanston, IL, United States
    • Eawag: Das Wasserforschungs-Institut des ETH-Bereichs
      Duebendorf, Zurich, Switzerland
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2001
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Stanford, CA, United States
  • 2000
    • Dickinson College
      • Department of Biology
      Carlisle, PA, United States
  • 1995–2000
    • University of Wisconsin, Madison
      • Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology
      Madison, MS, United States
  • 1980–1989
    • Moscow State Textile University
      Moskva, Moscow, Russia
  • 1978–1987
    • Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
      Moskva, Moscow, Russia