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Special Issue "The Plasma Membrane-Cytoskeleton Interface"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jong Tai Chun
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology and Evolution of Marine Organisms, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Napoli, Italy
Interests: cell physiology; molecular neurobiology; Ca2+ signaling; actin cytoskeleton; cell biology of oocytes; reproductive biology; signal transduction; transcriptome analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

One of the common denominators of all cell types, spanning from oocytes to highly differentiated cells such as neurons, is the enormous plasticity of the cell surface. To take a few examples, drastically reorganizing microvilli of oocytes and immune cells help to capture the sperm and invading cells, respectively. Neurons utilize a similar strategy for path-finding and specific management of their synapses, while cells like oligodendrocytes manifest extreme remodeling of the cell surface to ensheathe axons. All this is made possible because the tight subplasmalemmal region is aptly modulated on demand. Indeed, the plasma membrane–cytoskeleton interface is the locus where receptors and signaling molecules (e.g., ion channels, G-proteins, and enzymes) are anchored to the membrane and intimately associated with the subjacent actin meshwork undergoing constant remodeling. In the current Special Issue, we invite reviews and research articles that address molecular events related to the dynamic changes of the plasma membrane-cytoskeleton interface. Any articles dealing with basic research, translational research, and clinical studies on the given topic are welcome.

Dr. Jong Tai Chun
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Plasma membrane
  • Actin cytoskeleton
  • Plasticity
  • Signal transduction
  • Ca2+ signaling
  • Microvilli
  • Neurons
  • Immune cells

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
On the Role of Curved Membrane Nanodomains and Passive and Active Skeleton Forces in the Determination of Cell Shape and Membrane Budding
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(5), 2348; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22052348 - 26 Feb 2021
Viewed by 363
Abstract
Biological membranes are composed of isotropic and anisotropic curved nanodomains. Anisotropic membrane components, such as Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) superfamily protein domains, could trigger/facilitate the growth of membrane tubular protrusions, while isotropic curved nanodomains may induce undulated (necklace-like) membrane protrusions. We review the role of [...] Read more.
Biological membranes are composed of isotropic and anisotropic curved nanodomains. Anisotropic membrane components, such as Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) superfamily protein domains, could trigger/facilitate the growth of membrane tubular protrusions, while isotropic curved nanodomains may induce undulated (necklace-like) membrane protrusions. We review the role of isotropic and anisotropic membrane nanodomains in stability of tubular and undulated membrane structures generated or stabilized by cyto- or membrane-skeleton. We also describe the theory of spontaneous self-assembly of isotropic curved membrane nanodomains and derive the critical concentration above which the spontaneous necklace-like membrane protrusion growth is favorable. We show that the actin cytoskeleton growth inside the vesicle or cell can change its equilibrium shape, induce higher degree of segregation of membrane nanodomains or even alter the average orientation angle of anisotropic nanodomains such as BAR domains. These effects may indicate whether the actin cytoskeleton role is only to stabilize membrane protrusions or to generate them by stretching the vesicle membrane. Furthermore, we demonstrate that by taking into account the in-plane orientational ordering of anisotropic membrane nanodomains, direct interactions between them and the extrinsic (deviatoric) curvature elasticity, it is possible to explain the experimentally observed stability of oblate (discocyte) shapes of red blood cells in a broad interval of cell reduced volume. Finally, we present results of numerical calculations and Monte-Carlo simulations which indicate that the active forces of membrane skeleton and cytoskeleton applied to plasma membrane may considerably influence cell shape and membrane budding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plasma Membrane-Cytoskeleton Interface)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Phenotypic Plasticity of Cancer Cells Based on Remodeling of the Actin Cytoskeleton and Adhesive Structures
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 1821; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22041821 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 417
Abstract
There is ample evidence that, instead of a binary switch, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancer results in a flexible array of phenotypes, each one uniquely suited to a stage in the invasion-metastasis cascade. The phenotypic plasticity of epithelium-derived cancer cells gives them an [...] Read more.
There is ample evidence that, instead of a binary switch, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancer results in a flexible array of phenotypes, each one uniquely suited to a stage in the invasion-metastasis cascade. The phenotypic plasticity of epithelium-derived cancer cells gives them an edge in surviving and thriving in alien environments. This review describes in detail the actin cytoskeleton and E-cadherin-based adherens junction rearrangements that cancer cells need to implement in order to achieve the advantageous epithelial/mesenchymal phenotype and plasticity of migratory phenotypes that can arise from partial EMT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plasma Membrane-Cytoskeleton Interface)
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Open AccessReview
Cross Talk at the Cytoskeleton–Plasma Membrane Interface: Impact on Neuronal Morphology and Functions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 9133; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21239133 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 525
Abstract
The cytoskeleton and its associated proteins present at the plasma membrane not only determine the cell shape but also modulate important aspects of cell physiology such as intracellular transport including secretory and endocytic pathways. Continuous remodeling of the cell structure and intense communication [...] Read more.
The cytoskeleton and its associated proteins present at the plasma membrane not only determine the cell shape but also modulate important aspects of cell physiology such as intracellular transport including secretory and endocytic pathways. Continuous remodeling of the cell structure and intense communication with extracellular environment heavily depend on interactions between cytoskeletal elements and plasma membrane. This review focuses on the plasma membrane–cytoskeleton interface in neurons, with a special emphasis on the axon and nerve endings. We discuss the interaction between the cytoskeleton and membrane mainly in two emerging topics of neurobiology: (i) production and release of extracellular vesicles and (ii) local synthesis of new proteins at the synapses upon signaling cues. Both of these events contribute to synaptic plasticity. Our review provides new insights into the physiological and pathological significance of the cytoskeleton–membrane interface in the nervous system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Plasma Membrane-Cytoskeleton Interface)
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