Actin regulation by tropomodulin and tropomyosin in neuronal morphogenesis and function
Actin is a profoundly influential protein; it impacts, among other processes, membrane morphology, cellular motility, and vesicle transport. Actin can polymerize into long filaments that push on membranes and provide support for intracellular transport. Actin filaments have polar ends: the fast-growing (barbed) end and the slow-growing (pointed) end. Depolymerization from the pointed end supplies monomers for further polymerization at the barbed end. Tropomodulins (Tmods) cap pointed ends by binding onto actin and tropomyosins (Tpms). Tmods and Tpms have been shown to regulate many cellular processes; however, very few studies have investigated their joint role in the nervous system. Recent data directly indicate that they can modulate neuronal morphology. Additional studies suggest that Tmod and Tpm impact molecular processes influential in synaptic signaling. To facilitate future research regarding their joint role in actin regulation in the nervous system, we will comprehensively discuss Tpm and Tmod and their known functions within molecular systems that influence neuronal development.