Assembly of actin filaments and microtubules in Nwk F-BAR-induced membrane deformations

Charlotte F. Kelley, Agata N. Becalska, Cristina Berciu, Daniela Nicastro, Avital A. Rodal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


F-BAR domains form crescent-shaped dimers that bind to and deform lipid bilayers, and play a role in many cellular processes requiring membrane remodeling, including endocytosis and cell morphogenesis. Nervous Wreck (NWK) encodes an F-BAR/SH3 protein that regulates synapse growth in Drosophila. Unlike conventional F-BAR proteins that assemble tip-to-tip into filaments and helical arrays around membrane tubules, the Nwk F-BAR domain instead assembles into zigzags, creating ridges and periodic scallops on membranes in vitro. In cells, this membrane deforming activity generates small buds, which can lengthen into extensive protrusions upon actin cytoskeleton polymerization. Here, we show that Nwk-induced cellular protrusions contain dynamic microtubules, distinguishing them from conventional filopodia, and further do not depend on actin filaments or microtubules for their maintenance. Our results indicate new ways in which close cooperation between the membrane remodeling and cytoskeletal machinery underlies large-scale changes in cellular morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalCommunicative and Integrative Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Actin
  • F-BAR
  • Membrane
  • Microtubule
  • Nwk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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