**Trends in Cell Biology**
Volume 9, Issue 9, 1 September 1999, Pages 364-370

Synopsis: The actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilins are a family of essential actin regulatory proteins, ubiquitous among eukaryotes, that enhance the turnover of actin by regulating the rate constants of polymerization and depolymerization at filament ends, changing the twist of the filament and severing actin filaments. Genetic and cell-biological studies have shown that an ADF/cofilin is required to drive the high turnover of the actin cytoskeleton observed in vivo. The activity of ADF/cofilin is regulated by a variety of mechanisms, including specific phosphorylation and dephosphorylation. This review addresses aspects of ADF/cofilin structure, dynamics, regulation and function.