Cdc42-dependent actin polymerization during compensatory endocytosis in Xenopus eggs

Anna Marie Sokac, Carl Co, Jack Taunton, William Bement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The actin filament (F-actin) cytoskeleton associates dynamically with the plasma membrane and is thus ideally positioned to participate in endocytosis. Indeed, a wealth of genetic and biochemical evidence has confirmed that actin interacts with components of the endocytic machinery1, although its precise function in endocytosis remains unclear. Here, we use 4D microscopy to visualize the contribution of actin during compensatory endocytosis in Xenopus laevis eggs. We show that the actin cytoskeleton maintains exocytosing cortical granules as discrete invaginated compartments, such that when actin is disrupted, they collapse into the plasma membrane. Invaginated, exocytosing cortical granule compartments are directly retrieved from the plasma membrane by F-actin coats that assemble on their surface. These dynamic F-actin coats seem to drive closure of the exocytic fusion pores and ultimately compress the cortical granule compartments. Active Cdc42 and N-WASP are recruited to exocytosing cortical granule membranes before F-actin coat assembly and coats assemble by Cdc42-dependent, de novo actin polymerization. Thus, F-actin may power fusion pore resealing and function in two novel endocytic capacities: the maintenance of invaginated compartments and the processing of endosomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-732
Number of pages6
JournalNature Cell Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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