Emerging roles of cytoskeletal proteins in regulating gene expression and genome organization during differentiation

Xin Xie, S. Raza Mahmood, Tamara Gjorgjieva, Piergiorgio Percipalle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In the eukaryotic cell nucleus, cytoskeletal proteins are emerging as essential players in nuclear function. In particular, actin regulates chromatin as part of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes, it modulates transcription and it is incorporated into nascent ribonucleoprotein complexes, accompanying them from the site of transcription to polyribosomes. The nuclear actin pool is undistinguishable from the cytoplasmic one in terms of its ability to undergo polymerization and it has also been implicated in the dynamics of chromatin, regulating heterochromatin segregation at the nuclear lamina and maintaining heterochromatin levels in the nuclear interiors. One of the next frontiers is, therefore, to determine a possible involvement of nuclear actin in the functional architecture of the cell nucleus by regulating the hierarchical organization of chromatin and, thus, genome organization. Here, we discuss the repertoire of these potential actin functions and how they are likely to play a role in the context of cellular differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-65
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Cytoskeletal proteins
  • actin
  • chromatin regulation
  • development and differentiation
  • gene expression
  • genome organization
  • nucleus
  • transcriptional reprogramming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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