Villin Controls the Formation and Enlargement of Punctate Actin Foci in Pollen Tubes

Wanying Zhao, Xiaolu Qu, Yuhui Zhuang, Ludi Wang, Maurice Bosch, Vernonica E. Franklin-Tong, Shanjin Huang

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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Self-incompatibility (SI) in the poppy Papaver rhoeas triggers dramatic alterations in actin within pollen tubes. However, how these actin alterations are mechanistically achieved remains largely unexplored. Here, we used treatment with the Ca2+ ionophore A23187 to mimic the SI-induced elevation in cytosolic Ca2+ and trigger formation of the distinctive F-actin foci. Live-cell imaging revealed that this remodeling involves F-actin fragmentation and depolymerization, accompanied by the rapid formation of punctate actin foci and subsequent increase in their size. We established that actin foci are generated and enlarged from crosslinking of fragmented actin filament structures. Moreover, we show that villins associate with actin structures and are involved in this actin reorganization process. Notably, we demonstrate that Arabidopsis VILLIN5 promotes actin depolymerization and formation of actin foci by fragmenting actin filaments, and controlling the enlargement of actin foci via bundling of actin filaments. Our study thus uncovers important novel insights about the molecular players and mechanisms involved in forming the distinctive actin foci in pollen tubes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number237404
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2020


  • Actin depolymerization
  • Actin filament severing
  • Actin foci
  • Actin monomer dissociation
  • Pollen tube
  • Self-incompatibility response
  • Villin
  • Actin Cytoskeleton
  • Pollen Tube/genetics
  • Actins/genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins/genetics


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