We characterized the yeast actin cytoskeleton at the ultrastructural level using immunoelectron microscopy. Anti-actin antibodies primarily labeled dense, patchlike cortical structures and cytoplasmic cables. This localization recapitulates results obtained with immunofluorescence light microscopy, but at much higher resolution. Immuno-EM double-labeling experiments were conducted with antibodies to actin together with antibodies to the actin binding proteins Abp1p and cofilin. As expected from immunofluorescence experiments, Abp1p, cofilin, and actin colocalized in immuno-EM to the dense patchlike structures but not to the cables. In this way, we can unambiguously identify the patches as the cortical actin cytoskeleton. The cortical actin patches were observed to be associated with the cell surface via an invagination of plasma membrane. This novel cortical cytoskeleton-plasma membrane interface appears to consist of a fingerlike invagination of plasma membrane around which actin filaments and actin binding proteins are organized. We propose a possible role for this unique cortical structure in wall growth and osmotic regulation.

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