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J Cell Biol. 1999 Oct 18;147(2):307-20.

Analysis of dynactin subcomplexes reveals a novel actin-related protein associated with the arp1 minifilament pointed end.

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  • 1Department of Biology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA.


The multisubunit protein, dynactin, is a critical component of the cytoplasmic dynein motor machinery. Dynactin contains two distinct structural domains: a projecting sidearm that interacts with dynein and an actin-like minifilament backbone that is thought to bind cargo. Here, we use biochemical, ultrastructural, and molecular cloning techniques to obtain a comprehensive picture of dynactin composition and structure. Treatment of purified dynactin with recombinant dynamitin yields two assemblies: the actin-related protein, Arp1, minifilament and the p150(Glued) sidearm. Both contain dynamitin. Treatment of dynactin with the chaotropic salt, potassium iodide, completely depolymerizes the Arp1 minifilament to reveal multiple protein complexes that contain the remaining dynactin subunits. The shoulder/sidearm complex contains p150(Glued), dynamitin, and p24 subunits and is ultrastructurally similar to dynactin's flexible projecting sidearm. The dynactin shoulder complex, which contains dynamitin and p24, is an elongated, flexible assembly that may link the shoulder/sidearm complex to the Arp1 minifilament. Pointed-end complex contains p62, p27, and p25 subunits, plus a novel actin-related protein, Arp11. p62, p27, and p25 contain predicted cargo-binding motifs, while the Arp11 sequence suggests a pointed-end capping activity. These isolated dynactin subdomains will be useful tools for further analysis of dynactin assembly and function.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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