Eukaryotic cells contain a filamentous molecular framework called the cytoskeleton that provides physical support for cells and allows forces to be applied on the cellular level. Cytoskeletal networks are constantly being assembled and disassembled in response to signals, and precise spatial and temporal control of cytoskeletal dynamics is required for orchestration of complex cellular processes such as motility, uptake and release of materials and cell division. To regulate these processes, cells utilize a myriad of proteins to control polymerization, depolymerization, severing, capping and crosslinking of cytoskeletal filaments. We use a combination of biochemistry, biophysics, x‐ray crystallography, and cell biology to investigate the molecular basis for this cytoskeletal regulation, and our ultimate goal is to understand how cytoskeletal dynamics at the cellular level are controlled at the molecular level.
Keywords: Cytoskeleton, Actin filament network, Arp2/3 complex, Cytoskeletal dynamics