ACTB - an abundant cytoskeletal component with applications for gene expression analysis

Wed, 11/11/2015 - 15:23

Actin is the widely studied and ubiquitous cytoskeletal protein capable of forming dynamic microfilament structures. These filaments are essential for diverse cellular functions including cell shape, migration, cytokinesis, and intracellular trafficking (1). Actin is present in three main isoforms: alpha, beta, and gamma. These globular actin isoforms (G-actin) assemble into dynamic filamentous polymers called F-actin. This process is highly regulated by various actin-binding proteins that affect the stability, organization, and depolymerization of F-actin (1). Given its constitutive high expression, actin is considered a housekeeping gene and easily serves as an internal reference in protein and gene expression studies. Actin transcripts are easily detected through qPCR while western blotting with actin antibodies can provide a convenient loading control. While typically high in expression, beta-actin (ACTB) is further upregulated in various cancer cell types (2). This altered expression is associated with changes to the cytoskeleton and with metastasis and invasiveness of cancers (2).

The conservation of actin allows beta-actin antibodies to recognize antigens from various species. For example, beta-actin antibodies have been used for immunofluorescence to visualize the cytoskeleton of cuttlefish skin cells as they undergo rapid changes in structure and shape (3). Research from the University of Wisconsin Madison used beta-actin antibodies as loading control in their examination of hibernation’s effect on host-microbe interactions and gene expression in ground squirrels (4). Beta-actin antibodies were also used to examine the proximity of cofilin and actin filaments in dendritic spines (5). This proximity ligation assay relies on two oligonucleotide probes linked to separate antibodies. When the two targets are near each other, DNA ligation and polymerization steps allow fluorescent detection using in situ hybridization techniques.

Novus Biologicals offers beta-Actin reagents for your research needs including:


  1. 20737541
  2. 23266771
  3. 23378271
  4. 25130694
  5. 24740405

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