Actin and Myosin.swf

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Actin filaments, usually in association with myosin, are responsible for many types of cell movements. Myosin is the prototype of a molecular motor—a protein that converts chemical energy in the form of ATP to mechanical energy, thus generating force and movement. The most striking variety of such movement is muscle contraction, which has provided the model for understanding actin-myosin interactions and the motor activity of myosin molecules. However, interactions of actin and myosin are responsible not only for muscle contraction but also for a variety of movements of nonmuscle cells, including cell division, so these interactions play a central role in cell biology. Moreover, the actin cytoskeleton is responsible for the crawling movements of cells across a surface, which appear to be driven directly by actin polymerization as well as actin-myosin interactions.

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