Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 241–250 | Cite as

Studying cytoskeletal dynamics in living cells using green fluorescent protein

  • Yisang Yoon
  • Kelly Pitts
  • Mark McNiven


Microfilaments, intermediate filaments, and microtubules are three major cytoskeletal systems providing cells with stability to maintain proper shape. Although the word “cytoskeleton” implicates rigidity, it is quite dynamic exhibiting constant changes within cells. In addition to providing cell stability, it participates in a variety of essential and dynamic cellular processes including cell migration, cell division, intracellular transport, vesicular trafficking, and organelle morphogenesis. During the past eight years since the green fluorescent protein (GFP) was first used as a marker for the exogenous gene expression, it has been an especially booming era for live cell observations of intracellular movement of many proteins. Because of the dynamic behavior of the cytoskeleton in the cell, GFP has naturally been a vital part of the studies of the cytoskeleton and its associated proteins. In this article, we will describe the advantage of using GFP and how it has been used to study cytoskeletal proteins.

Index Entries

GFP cytoskeleton motors living cells dynamics 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yisang Yoon
    • 1
  • Kelly Pitts
  • Mark McNiven
  1. 1.Center for Basic Research in Digestive Diseases and Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyMayo ClinicRochester

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