Concept

Microfilament

Summary
Microfilaments, also called actin filaments, are protein filaments in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells that form part of the cytoskeleton. They are primarily composed of polymers of actin, but are modified by and interact with numerous other proteins in the cell. Microfilaments are usually about 7 nm in diameter and made up of two strands of actin. Microfilament functions include cytokinesis, amoeboid movement, cell motility, changes in cell shape, endocytosis and exocytosis, cell contractility, and mechanical stability. Microfilaments are flexible and relatively strong, resisting buckling by multi-piconewton compressive forces and filament fracture by nanonewton tensile forces. In inducing cell motility, one end of the actin filament elongates while the other end contracts, presumably by myosin II molecular motors. Additionally, they function as part of actomyosin-driven contractile molecular motors, wherein the thin filaments serve as tensile platforms for myosin's ATP-dependent
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