Cytoskeleton Inc. is proud to be a part of this excellent collection of protocols and methods.
The cytoskeleton and its associated molecular motors and binding proteins perform numerous cellular processes ranging from migration and division to mechanosensing; thus, enabling the cells to move, change shape, and grow. The cytoskeleton includes the semiflexible actin filaments, rigid microtubules, and intermediate filaments that provide structural and mechanical support to the cells; additionally, the cytoskeleton is also a quintessential example of active matter with potential materials applications ranging from wound healing and drug delivery to filtration and soft robotics. In an effort to understand these interactions and contributions from the different cytoskeletal constituents that lead to signature cellular properties, researchers have developed powerful in vitro reconstitution methods to build and study cytoskeleton systems outside the cells. However, due to the complexity and non-equilibrium nature of these systems, as well as the labile nature of their constituents, in vitro reconstitution methods are often difficult to replicate from lab to lab. This collection highlights the different reconstitution assays and experimental methods that researchers at the forefront of cytoskeleton research are using to recreate and elucidate cytoskeleton systems in an effort to advance biophysics and materials science alike.