Regulation of actin assembly by SCAR/WAVE proteins

Neysi Ibarra, Alice Pollitt, Robert Insall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

62 Citations (Scopus)


Actin reorganization is a tightly regulated process that co-ordinates complex cellular events, such as cell migration, chemotaxis, phagocytosis and adhesion, but the molecular mechanisms that underlie these processes are not well understood. SCAR (suppressor of cAMP receptor)/WAVE [WASP (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein)-family verprolin homology protein] proteins are members of the conserved WASP family of cytoskeletal regulators, which play a critical role in actin dynamics by triggering Arp2/3 (actin-related protein 2/3)-dependent actin nucleation. SCAR/WAVEs are thought to be regulated by a pentameric complex which also contains Abi (Abi-interactor), Nap (Nck-associated protein), PIR121 (p53-inducible mRNA 121) and HSPC300 (haematopoietic stem progenitor cell 300), but the structural organization of the complex and the contribution of its individual components to the regulation of SCAR/WAVE function remain unclear. Additional features of SCAR/WAVE regulation are highlighted by the discovery of other interactors and distinct complexes. it is likely that the combinatorial assembly of different components of SCAR/WAVE complexes will prove to be vital for their roles at the centre of dynamic actin reorganization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-6
Number of pages4
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


  • actin-related protein 2/3 complex (Arp2/3 complex)
  • actin
  • motility
  • Dictyostelium


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