The ADF (actin-depolymerizing factor)/cofilin family is a stimulus-responsive mediator of actin dynamics. In contrast to the mechanisms of inactivation of ADF/cofilin by kinases such as LIM-kinase 1 (LIMK1), much less is known about its reactivation through dephosphorylation. Here we report Slingshot (SSH), a family of phosphatases that have the property of F actin binding. In Drosophila, loss of ssh function dramatically increased levels of both F actin and phospho-cofilin (P cofilin) and disorganized epidermal cell morphogenesis. In mammalian cells, human SSH homologs (hSSHs) suppressed LIMK1-induced actin reorganization. Furthermore, SSH and the hSSHs dephosphorylated P cofilin in cultured cells and in cell-free assays. Our results strongly suggest that the SSH family plays a pivotal role in actin dynamics by reactivating ADF/cofilin in vivo.
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