Identifying the dynamics of actin and tubulin polymerization in iPSCs and in iPSC-derived neurons

Valentina Magliocca, Stefania Petrini, Tiziana Franchin, Rossella Borghi, Alessia Niceforo, Zeinab Abbaszadeh, Enrico Bertini, Claudia Compagnucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of the nervous system requires cytoskeleton-mediated processes coordinating self-renewal, migration, and differentiation of neurons. It is not surprising that many neurodevelopmental problems and neurodegenerative disorders are caused by deficiencies in cytoskeleton-related genes. For this reason, we focus on the cytoskeletal dynamics in proliferating iPSCs and in iPSC-derived neurons to better characterize the underpinnings of cytoskeletal organization looking at actin and tubulin repolymerization studies using the cell permeable probes SiR-Actin and SiR-Tubulin. During neurogenesis, each neuron extends an axon in a complex and changing environment to reach its final target. The dynamic behavior of the growth cone and its capacity to respond to multiple spatial information allows it to find its correct target. We decided to characterize various parameters of the actin filaments and microtubules. Our results suggest that a rapid re-organization of the cytoskeleton occurs 45 minutes after treatments with de-polymerizing agents in iPSCs and 60 minutes in iPSC-derived neurons in both actin filaments and microtubules. The quantitative data confirm that the actin filaments have a primary role in the re-organization of the cytoskeleton soon after de-polymerization, while microtubules have a major function following cytoskeletal stabilization. In conclusion, we investigate the possibility that de-polymerization of the actin filaments may have an impact on microtubules organization and that de-polymerization of the microtubules may affect the stability of the actin filaments. Our results suggest that a reciprocal influence of the actin filaments occurs over the microtubules and vice versa in both in iPSCs and iPSC-derived neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111096-111109
Number of pages14
Issue number67
Publication statusPublished - Dec 19 2017


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