actin

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Related to Alpha-actin: actin filament, Thin filament

actin,

a protein abundantly present in many cells, especially muscle cells, that significantly contributes to the cell's structure and motility. Actin can very quickly assemble into long polymer rods called microfilaments. These microfilaments have a variety of roles—they form part of the cell's cytoskeleton, they interact with myosinmyosin
, one of the two major protein constituents responsible for contraction of muscle. In muscle cells myosin is arranged in long filaments called thick filaments that lie parallel to the microfilaments of actin.
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 to permit movement of the cell, and they pinch the cell into two during cell division. In muscle contraction, filaments of actin and myosin alternately unlink and chemically link in a sliding action. The energy for this reaction is supplied by adenosine triphosphateadenosine triphosphate
(ATP) , organic compound composed of adenine, the sugar ribose, and three phosphate groups. ATP serves as the major energy source within the cell to drive a number of biological processes such as photosynthesis, muscle contraction, and the synthesis of
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actin

[′ak·tən]
(biochemistry)
A muscle protein that is the chief constituent of the Z-band myofilaments of each sarcomere.