Alpha-actin/ACTA1 - A skeletal muscle isoform mutated in various myopathies

Mon, 02/15/2016 - 15:40

Actin is an abundant cytoskeletal protein involved in a variety of cellular processes such as cell motility, cell division, and muscle contraction. Actin monomers assemble into filaments and can provide a track for transport of cargo by the molecular motor myosin (1). Alternatively, interaction with myosin allows contraction between actin filaments. This contractility is essential during cell migration and cytokinesis (1). On a larger scale, organized scaffolds of actin filaments interact with myosin to provide mechanical force during muscle contraction (1).

Actin antibodies are widely used as loading controls when measuring protein levels by performing western blots (3). While actin often serves as a normalization control in westerns or qPCR, actin antibodies also serve as important research tools for assessing the cytoskeletal network of cells or muscle fibers. For these purposes actin antibodies are also available in fluorophore conjugated forms allowing detection through direct immunofluorescence. The high conservation of actin across organisms allows detection with actin antibodies that will cross react with diverse organisms. However, specific actin isoforms can be targeted is desired. Monoclonal actin antibodies have been shown to successfully distinguish between various actin isoforms, including cardiac alpha-actin, in immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting (4). The three main actin isoforms include alpha, beta, and gamma with alpha-actin being the most abundant in skeletal muscle cells (2). Mutations in α-actin are often observed in various congenital myopathies (5). Actin antibodies can be used to assess expression levels of the individual isoforms in patient biopsies (5).

Novus Biologicals offers Actin reagents for your research needs including:


  1. 24382887
  2. 21314430
  3. 23792571
  4. 8765054
  5. 19181090

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