Intermediate Filaments Are Dynamic

Although intermediate filaments are clearly more stable than microtubules and microfilaments, IF proteins have been shown to exchange with the existing IF cytoskeleton. In one experiment, a biotin-labeled type I keratin was injected into fibroblasts; within 2 hours after injection, the labeled protein had been incorporated into the already existing keratin cy-toskeleton (Figure 19-34). The results of this experiment and others demonstrate that IF subunits in a soluble pool are able to add themselves to preexisting filaments and that subunits are able to dissociate from intact filaments.

The relative stability of intermediate filaments presents special problems in mitotic cells, which must reorganize all

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