Effects of Environmental Stress Factors on the Actin Cytoskeleton of Fungi and Plants: Ionizing Radiation and ROS
Actin is an abundant and multifaceted protein in eukaryotic cells that has been detected in the cytoplasm as well as in the nucleus. In cooperation with numerous interacting accessory-proteins, monomeric actin (G-actin) polymerizes into microfilaments (F-actin) which constitute ubiquitous subcellular higher order structures. Considering the extensive spatial dimensions and multifunctionality of actin super-arrays, the present study analyses the issue if and to what extent environmental stress factors, specifically ionizing radiation (IR) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), affect the cellular actin-entity. In that context, this review particularly surveys IR-response of fungi and plants. It examines in detail which actin-related cellular constituents and molecular pathways are influenced by ionizing radiation and related ROS. This comprehensive survey concludes that the general integrity of the total cellular actin cytoskeleton is a requirement for IR-tolerance. Actin´s functions in genome organization and nuclear events like chromatin remodelling, DNA-repair, and transcription play a key role. Beyond that, it is highly significant that the macromolecular cytoplasmic and cortical actin-frameworks are affected by IR as well. In response to IR, actin-filament bundling proteins (fimbrins) are required to stabilize cables or patches. In addition, the actin-associated factors mediating cellular polarity are essential for IR-survivability. Moreover, it is concluded that a cellular homeostasis system comprising ROS, ROS-scavengers, NADPH-oxidases, and the actin cytoskeleton plays an essential role here. Consequently, besides the actin-fraction which controls crucial genome-integrity, also the portion which facilitates orderly cellular transport and polarized growth has to be maintained in order to survive IR.