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J Cell Biol. 2001 Apr 30;153(3):627-34.

Activation of the Arp2/3 complex by the actin filament binding protein Abp1p.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-3202, USA.


The actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex plays a central role in assembly of actin networks. Because distinct actin-based structures mediate diverse processes, many proteins are likely to make spatially and temporally regulated interactions with the Arp2/3 complex. We have isolated a new activator, Abp1p, which associates tightly with the yeast Arp2/3 complex. Abp1p contains two acidic sequences (DDW) similar to those found in SCAR/WASp proteins. We demonstrate that mutation of these sequences abolishes Arp2/3 complex activation in vitro. Genetic studies indicate that this activity is important for Abp1p functions in vivo. In contrast to SCAR/WASp proteins, Abp1p binds specifically to actin filaments, not monomers. Actin filament binding is mediated by the ADF/cofilin homology (ADF-H) domain of Abp1p and is required for Arp2/3 complex activation in vitro. We demonstrate that Abp1p recruits Arp2/3 complex to the sides of filaments, suggesting a novel mechanism of activation. Studies in yeast and mammalian cells indicate that Abp1p is involved functionally in endocytosis. Based on these results, we speculate that Abp1p may link Arp2/3-mediated actin assembly to a specific step in endocytosis.

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