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actin, gamma 2: Proteins and Enzymes

All eukaryotic cells express actin, which often constitutes as much as 50% of total cellular protein. Actin filaments can form both stable and labile structures and are crucial components of microvilli and the contractile apparatus of muscle cells. While lower eukaryotes, such as yeast, have only one actin gene, higher eukaryotes have several isoforms encoded by a family of genes. At least six types of actin are present in mammalian tissues and fall into three classes. alpha actin expression is limited to various types of muscle, whereas beta and gamma are the principle constituents of filaments in other tissues. Members of the small GTPase family regulate the organization of the actin cytoskeleton. Rho controls the assembly of actin stress fibers and focal adhesion, Rac regulates actin filament accumulation at the plasma membrane and Cdc42 stimulates formation of filopodia.
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