Redox regulation of the actin cytoskeleton and its role in the vascular system

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The actin cytoskeleton is critical for form and function of vascular cells, serving mechanical, organizational and signaling roles. Because many cytoskeletal proteins are sensitive to reactive oxygen species, redox regulation has emerged as a pivotal modulator of the actin cytoskeleton and its associated proteins. Here, we summarize work implicating oxidants in altering actin cytoskeletal proteins and focus on how these alterations affect cell migration, proliferation and contraction of vascular cells. Finally, we discuss the role of oxidative modification of the actin cytoskeleton in vivo and highlight its importance for vascular diseases.

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