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Letters to Nature
Nature 307, 58 - 60 (05 January 1984); doi:10.1038/307058a0

Direct observation of motion of single F-actin filaments in the presence of myosin

Toshio Yanagida, Michiyuki Nakase, Katsumi Nishiyama & Fumio Oosawa

Department of Biophysical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan

Actin is found in almost all kinds of non-muscle cells where it is thought to have an important role in cell motility. A proper understanding of that role will only be possible when reliable in vitro systems are available for investigating the interaction of cellular actin and myosin. A start has been made on several systems1–4, most recently by Sheetz and Spudich who demonstrated unidirectional movement of HMM-coated beads along F-actin cables on arrays of chloroplasts exposed by dissection of a Nitella cell5. As an alternative approach, we report here the direct observation by fluorescence microscopy of the movements of single F-actin filaments interacting with soluble myosin fragments energized by Mg2+-ATP.

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