VASP localization to lipid bilayers induces polymerization driven actin bundle formation

T. Nast-Kolb, P. Bleicher, M. Payr, A. R. Bausch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Actin bundles constitute important cytoskeleton structures and enable a scaffold for force transmission inside cells. Actin bundles are formed by proteins, with multiple F-actin binding domains cross-linking actin filaments to each other. Vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) has mostly been reported as an actin elongator, but it has been shown to be a bundling protein as well and is found in bundled actin structures at filopodia and adhesion sites. Based on in vitro experiments, it remains unclear when and how VASP can act as an actin bundler or elongator. Here we demonstrate that VASP bound to membranes facilitates the formation of large actin bundles during polymerization. The alignment by polymerization requires the fluidity of the lipid bilayers. The mobility within the bilayer enables VASP to bind to filaments and capture and track growing barbed ends. VASP itself phase separates into a protein-enriched phase on the bilayer. This VASP-rich phase nucleates and accumulates at bundles during polymerization, which in turn leads to a reorganization of the underlying lipid bilayer. Our findings demonstrate that the nature of VASP localization is decisive for its function. The up-concentration based on VASP’s affinity to actin during polymerization enables it to simultaneously fulfill the function of an elongator and a bundler.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberar91
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'VASP localization to lipid bilayers induces polymerization driven actin bundle formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this