Actin and Microtubules
These images show the distributions of microtubules and actin filaments in cultured epithelial cells. These two filamentous systems together make up a part of the cell's cytoskeleton. Microtubules (in green) provide structural support and the "tracks" along which intracellular products are carried. Refer to nucleus and microtubules image for a complete description of microtubule function. Actin filaments (in red) are mainly structural elements. The provide the cell with its overall shape and allow it to form contacts with its substrate. The actin cytoskeleton, along with myosin, also generates the forces used by cells to crawl along substrates or through tissues in an intact animal. All cells were processed using gluteraldehyde fixation and stained with rhodamine-conjugated phalloidin to visualize actin and fluorescein-conjugated antibodies to tubulin to see microtubules.
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