Cell and Tissue Biology

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 341–347 | Cite as

Assembly of actin filaments induced by sequestration of membrane cholesterol in transformed cells

  • T. N. Efremova
  • V. I. Chubinskij-Nadezhdin
  • S. Yu. Khaitlina
  • E. A. Morachevskaya


Cholesterol is a major lipid component of the plasma membrane that plays an important role in various signaling processes in mammalian cells. Our study is focused on the role of membrane cholesterol in the organization and dynamics of actin cytoskeleton. Experiments were performed on cultured transformed cells characterized by a poorly developed actin network and less prominent stress fibers: human embryonic kidney HEK293, human epidermoid larynx carcinoma HEp-2, and mouse fibroblasts 3T3-SV40. Using Factin labeling with rhodamine phalloidin, actin cytoskeleton rearrangements were analyzed after sequestration of membrane cholesterol by cyclic oligosaccharide methyl-beta-cyclodextrin and polyene macrolide antibiotic filipin. The cells treated with these agents displayed similar reorganization of actin cytoskeleton involving filament assembly. In HEp-2 carcinoma cells and 3T3-SV40 fibroblasts, cholesterol-sequestering reagents induced intense stress fiber formation and enhanced cell spreading; i.e., features of transformed phenotype reversion were observed. The cytoskeleton rearrangements are probably initiated by disruption of lipid raft integrity that is critically dependent on the level of the membrane cholesterol.


plasma membrane actin cytoskeleton cholesterol lipid microdomains human leukemia methyl-beta-cyclodextrin filipin 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. N. Efremova
    • 1
  • V. I. Chubinskij-Nadezhdin
    • 1
  • S. Yu. Khaitlina
    • 1
  • E. A. Morachevskaya
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of CytologyRussian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia

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