Microscopy basics and the study of actin-actin-binding protein interactions

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Actin is a multifunctional eukaryotic protein with a globular monomer form that polymerizes into a thin, linear microfilament in cells. Through interactions with various actin-binding proteins (ABPs), actin plays an active role in many cellular processes, such as cell motility and structure. Microscopy techniques are powerful tools for determining the role and mechanism of actin-ABP interactions in these processes. In this article, we describe the basic concepts of fluorescent speckle microscopy, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and cryoelectron microscopy and review recent studies that utilize these techniques to visualize the binding of actin with ABPs. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Analytical Biochemistry

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