Collaborative work of Reisler & Gimzewski labs reveals how drebrin-A, a key neuronal actin binding protein, modifies single actin filaments

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High resolution Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) shows cooperative binding of drebrin to single actin filaments and reveals the resulting change in their structure. The observed nanoscale structural changes modify the binding of other actin binding proteins and contribute to the unique properties of neuronal cytoskeletons. The discovery will help researchers to further analyze the role of Drebrin A and actin in neurons and take the next steps towards understanding the molecular connection between drebrin A deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease. This work has been highlighted in the Biophysical Journal.