Dynamin regulates the dynamics and mechanical strength of the actin cytoskeleton as a multifilament actin-bundling protein.
The dynamin GTPase is known to bundle actin filaments, but the underlying molecular mechanism and physiological relevance remain unclear. Our genetic analyses revealed a function of dynamin in propelling invasive membrane protrusions during myoblast fusion in vivo. Using biochemistry, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy and cryo-electron tomography, we show that dynamin bundles actin while forming a helical structure. At its full capacity, each dynamin helix captures 12-16 actin filaments on the outer rim of the helix. GTP hydrolysis by dynamin triggers disassembly of fully assembled dynamin helices, releasing free dynamin dimers/tetramers and facilitating Arp2/3-mediated branched actin polymerization. The assembly/disassembly cycles of dynamin promote continuous actin bundling to generate mechanically stiff actin super-bundles. Super-resolution and immunogold platinum replica electron microscopy revealed dynamin along actin bundles at the fusogenic synapse. These findings implicate dynamin as a unique multifilament actin-bundling protein that regulates the dynamics and mechanical strength of the actin cytoskeletal network.