Actin polymerization is activated by terahertz irradiation

Shota Yamazaki, Masahiko Harata, Toshitaka Idehara, Keiji Konagaya, Ginji Yokoyama, Hiromichi Hoshina, Yuichi Ogawa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)


    Polymerization of monomeric actin into filaments has pivotal roles in cell motility, growth, differentiation, and gene expression. Therefore, techniques of manipulating actin polymerization, including actin-binding chemicals, have been developed for understanding and regulating multiple biological functions. Here, we demonstrate that irradiation with terahertz (THz) waves is a novel method of modulating actin polymerization. When actin polymerization reaction is performed under irradiation with 0.46 THz waves generated by a Gyrotron, actin polymerization was observed to be activated by monitoring the fluorescence of pyrene actin fluorophores. We also observed the number of actin filaments under a fluorescence microscope using the polymerized actin probe SiR-actin. The number of actin filaments was increased by 3.5-fold after THz irradiation for 20 min. When the THz irradiation was applied to a steady-state actin solution, in which elongation and depolymerization of actin filaments were equilibrated, increased actin polymerization was observed, suggesting that the THz irradiation activates actin polymerization, at least in the elongation process. These results suggest that THz waves could be applied for manipulating biomolecules and cells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number9990
    JournalScientific reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


    Dive into the research topics of 'Actin polymerization is activated by terahertz irradiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this