Regulation of Cytoskeletal Dynamics and Cell Morphogenesis by Abl Family Kinases

  • Anthony J. Koleske
Part of the Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit book series (MBIU)


Abelson (Abl) family nonreceptor tyrosine kinases are essential regulators of cell morphogenesis in developing metazoan organisms. Mutant animals that lack Abl kinases exhibit defects in epithelial and neuronal morphogenesis. In cultured cells, the vertebrate Abl and Abl-related gene (Arg) proteins promote formation of actin-based protrusive structures, such as filopodia and lamellipodia. Abl family kinases act as relays that coordinate changes in cytoskeletal structure in response growth factors and adhesion receptor activation. These cytoskeletal rearrangements are achieved through the ability of these kinases to control the Rho and Rac GTPases and to stimulate assembly of protein complexes that activate nucleation of actin filaments by the Arp2/3 complex. Abl and Arg also contain extended C-termini that bind directly to F-actin and microtubules and may mediate interactions between these cytoskeletal networks in cells. Arg, for instance, can promote the cooperative assembly of an F-actin-rich scaffold in cells, which may serve as a base for the elaboration of actin-rich protrusive structures in cells.


Actin Filament Cytoskeletal Rearrangement Cytoskeletal Dynamics Cell Morphogenesis Calponin Homology Domain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony J. Koleske
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Department of Neurobiology, Interdepartmental Neuroscience ProgramYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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