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Contact: Bill Hathaway
Yale University

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

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Caption: Thread-like actin filaments, strong as commercial plastic, are the muscular workhorses of our cells -- pushing on membranes to move cells to the proper location within tissues and applying pressure within the interior to keep all working parts of the cell where they need to be. These filaments do their jobs through a mysterious process of continual splitting and reassembly. In the movie, filaments are caught in the act of disassembly. Filament ends are marked by red and green arrows and the severing events are indicated by pink arrows and yellow flashes. The images answer long-standing questions about just where these breaks occur.

Credit: Cristian Suarez

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Related news release: Video captures cellular 'workhorses' in action

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