Cytoskeletal Networks and Osmotic Pressure in Relation to Cell Structure and Motility
The motility of many cell types proceeds sporadically, by a sequence of propulsive and contractile movements. These movements appear to be controlled by proteins acting upon the actin cytoskeletal network which induce gel-sol transformations in specific regions of the cytoplasm. However, the forces that actually drive these cytoplasmic motions remain obscure; indeed there may be several force generating systems which dominate different types of motile events. For example, directed locomotion may involve the same direct mechanochemical coupling as occurs within muscles, in conjunction with other forces such as membrane bending, gel swelling and elasticity, or osmotic and hydrostatic pressures. In this chapter we will review the elastic properties of cytoskeletal protein networks. It is these networks that provide elastic resistance to cell deformation, and whose rearrangement may allow directed motion in response to externally or internally generated forces.
KeywordsOsmotic Pressure Actin Filament Actin Polymerization Actin Network Cytoskeletal Network
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