The actin cytoskeleton plays crucial roles in many cellular processes, including regulated secretion. However, the mechanisms controlling F-actin dynamics in this process are largely unknown.
Through 3D time-lapse imaging in a secreting organ, researchers show that F-actin is actively disassembled along the apical plasma membrane at the site of secretory vesicle fusion and re-assembled directionally on vesicle membranes.
Moreover, authors show that fusion pore formation and PIP2 redistribution precedes actin and myosin recruitment to secretory vesicle membranes.
Finally, they show essential roles for the branched actin nucleators Arp2/3- and WASp in the process of secretory cargo expulsion and integration of vesicular membranes with the apical plasma membrane.
These results highlight previously unknown roles for branched actin in exocytosis and provide a genetically tractable system to image the temporal and spatial dynamics of polarized secretion in vivo.