Diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins is influenced by the activity of dynamic cortical actin

Suvrajit Saha, Il Hyung Lee, Anirban Polley, Jay T. Groves, Madan Rao, Satyajit Mayor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Molecular diffusion at the surface of living cells is believed to be predominantly driven by thermal kicks. However, there is growing evidence that certain cell surface molecules are driven by the fluctuating dynamics of cortical cytoskeleton. Using fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, we measure the diffusion coefficient of a variety of cell surface molecules over a temperature range of 24-37°C. Exogenously incorporated fluorescent lipids with short acyl chains exhibit the expected increase of diffusion coefficient over this temperature range. In contrast, we find that GPI-anchored proteins exhibit temperature-independent diffusion over this range and revert to temperature-dependent diffusion on cell membrane blebs, in cells depleted of cholesterol, and upon acute perturbation of actin dynamics and myosin activity. A model transmembrane protein with a cytosolic actin-binding domain also exhibits the temperature-independent behavior, directly implicating the role of cortical actin. We show that diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins also becomes temperature dependent when the filamentous dynamic actin nucleator formin is inhibited. However, changes in cortical actin mesh size or perturbation of branched actin nucleator Arp2/3 do not affect this behavior. Thus cell surface diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins and transmembrane proteins that associate with actin is driven by active fluctuations of dynamic cortical actin filaments in addition to thermal fluctuations, consistent with expectations from an "active actin-membrane composite" cell surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4033-4045
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number22
StatePublished - 5 Nov 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Diffusion of GPI-anchored proteins is influenced by the activity of dynamic cortical actin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this