Anders E. Carlsson, Ph.D.


Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program
Computational and Systems Biology Program

  • 314-935-5739

  • 314-935-6219

  • 1105

  • Crow 213



  • actin, cytoskeleton, cell motility, endocytosis

  • Simulation and theory of force generation by actin polymerization

Research Abstract:

Our research efforts are focused on understanding actin dynamics and force generation using a combination of analytic theory and computer simulation. Actin polymerizes rapidly in response to external signals, and often displays an autonomous dynamic behavior. Several of the key molecular-level processes underlying actin dynamics are known, and these include polymerization/depolymerization of filaments, branching/debranching, capping/uncapping of filament ends, and bundling of filaments. Our current focus is understanding how actin dynamics in endocytosis is determined, and how actin polymerization provides pulling forces to drive the process. In our simulations, we retain the coordinates of all actin subunits in filaments over time, thus obtaining a detailed picture of the three-dimensional structures that form, such as branched networks and bundles. Recently, we have shown that pulses of actin polymerization that occur during endocytosis in yeast result from a negative-feedback interaction in which actin polymerization pulls actin nucleators off the membrane. Furthermore, we found that pulling forces in endocytosis are generated by a characteristic profile of actin polymerization where the polymerization is slowest at the edges. We are currently trying to understand how actin filaments can generate the large forces required to overcome the turgor pressure in yeast.

Selected Publications:

Wang X, Galletta BJ, Cooper, JA, and Carlsson. Actin-Regulator Feedback Interactions during Endocytosis. Biophys. J. 110, 1430-1443 (2016)

Carlsson AE and Bayly PV. Force generation by endocytic actin patches in budding yeast. Biophys. J. 106, 1596-1606 (2014)

Brooks FJ and Carlsson AE. Actin polymerization overshoots and hydrolysis as assayed by pyrene fluorescence. Biophys J 2008 95:1050-1062.

Carlsson AE. Model of reduction of polymerization forces by ATP Hydrolysis. Phys Biol 2008 8:035002:1-9.

Carlsson AE. Stimulation of actin polymerization by filament severing. Biophys J 2006 90:413-422.

Yang L, Sept D, Carlsson AE. Energetics and dynamics of constrainted actin filament bundling. Biophys J 2006 90:4295-4304.

Last Updated: 9/30/2016 9:22:48 AM

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