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Publication Detail
Mechanics of the cellular actin cortex: From signalling to shape change
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd The actin cortex is a thin layer of actin, myosin and actin-binding proteins that underlies the membrane of most animal cells. It is highly dynamic and can undergo remodelling on timescales of tens of seconds, thanks to protein turnover and myosin-mediated contractions. The cortex enables cells to resist external mechanical stresses, controls cell shape and allows cells to exert forces on their neighbours. Thus, its mechanical properties are the key to its physiological function. Here, we give an overview of how cortex composition, structure and dynamics control cortex mechanics and cell shape. We use mitosis as an example to illustrate how global and local regulation of cortex mechanics gives rise to a complex series of cell shape changes.
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