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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Publication details for Prof PJ Hussey

T. Ketelaar, E.G. Allwood, R. Anthony, B. Voigt, D. Menzel & P.J. Hussey (2004). The actin-interacting protein AIP1 is essential for actin organization and plant development. Current Biology 14(2): 145-149.

Author(s) from Durham


Cell division, growth, and cytoplasmic organization require a dynamic actin cytoskeleton. The filamentous actin (F-actin) network is regulated by actin binding proteins that modulate actin dynamics. These actin binding proteins often have cooperative interactions [1 and 2]. In particular, actin interacting protein 1 (AIP1) is capable of capping F-actin and enhancing the activity of the small actin modulating protein, actin depolymerising factor (ADF) in vitro [1 and 3]. Here, we analyze the effect of the inducible expression of AIP1 RNAi in Arabidopsis plants to assess AIP1s role in vivo. In intercalary growing cells, the normal actin organization is disrupted, and thick bundles of actin appear in the cytoplasm. Moreover, in root hairs, there is the unusual appearance of actin cables ramifying the root hair tip. We suggest that the reduction in AIP1 results in a decrease in F-actin turnover and the promotion of actin bundling. This distortion of the actin cytoskeleton causes severe plant developmental abnormalities. After induction of the Arabidopis RNAi lines, the cells in the leaves, roots, and shoots fail to expand normally, and in the severest phenotypes, the plants die. Our data suggest that AIP1 is essential for the normal functioning of the actin cytoskeleton in plant development.