In vivo analysis of formin dynamics in the moss P. patens reveals functional class diversification

Gisbergen, Peter Van; Wu, Shu Zon; Cheng, Xiaohang; Pattavina, Kelli A.; Bezanilla, Magdalena


Formins are actin regulators critical for diverse processes across eukaryotes. With many formins in plants and animals, it has been challenging to determine formin function in vivo. We found that the phylogenetically distinct class I integral membrane formins (denoted For1) from the moss P. patens enrich at sites of membrane turnover, with For1D more tightly associated with the plasma membrane than For1A. To probe formin function, we generated formin-null lines with greatly reduced formin complexity. We found that For1A and For1D help to anchor actin near the cell apex, with For1A contributing to formation of cytosolic actin, while For1D contributes to plasma membrane-associated actin. At the cortex, For1A and For1D localized to motile puncta and differentially impacted actin dynamics. We found that class I cortical formin mobility depended on microtubules and only moderately on actin, whereas class II formin (denoted For2) mobility solely depended on actin. Moreover, cortical For2A tightly correlated with the puncta labeled by the endocytic membrane dye FM4-64, and null mutants in class I formins did not affect uptake of a similar dye, FM1-43, suggesting that class I and II formins are involved in distinct membrane trafficking pathways.