Visualization and Manipulation of Actin Cytoskeleton with Small-Molecular Probes

Actin is a ubiquitous cytoskeletal protein, forming a dynamic network that generates mechanical forces in the cell. Here, in order to dissect the complex mechanisms of actin-related cellular functions, we introduce two powerful tools based on a new class of actin-binding small molecule: one enables visualization of the actin cytoskeleton, including super-resolution imaging, and the other enables highly specific green-light-controlled fragmentation of actin filaments, affording unprecedented control of the actin cytoskeleton and its force network in living cells.