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J Biol Chem. 2003 Mar 7;278(10):8452-9. Epub 2002 Dec 13.

Mouse MIM, a tissue-specific regulator of cytoskeletal dynamics, interacts with ATP-actin monomers through its C-terminal WH2 domain.

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  • 1Program in Cellular Biotechnology, Institute of Biotechnology, P. O. Box 56, University of Helsinki, Finland.


The WH2 (WASP homology domain-2) is a small actin monomer-binding motif and is found in many proteins that regulate the actin cytoskeleton, including the beta-thymosins, ciboulot, WASP, and verprolin/WIP (WASP-interacting protein). In sequence database searches we identified a novel mouse protein containing a WH2 domain in its C-terminal region. This mouse gene also shows strong sequence homology to human MIM (Missing in Metastasis), a cDNA fragment that is present in non-metastatic but absent in metastatic bladder cancer cell lines. Northern blot and in situ hybridizations show that MIM is strongly expressed in the developing neurons and skeletal and cardiac muscles in mouse embryos. In adult mice, the strongest expression of MIM mRNA is in liver, outer layers of the kidney, and in the Purkinje cells of the brain. Recombinant MIM protein interacts with actin monomers and inhibits actin filament nucleation in vitro. However, the MIM/ATP-G-actin complex can participate in actin filament assembly at the barbed end. MIM binds ATP-G-actin with a higher affinity (K(D) = 0.06 microm) than ADP-G-actin (K(D) = 0.3 microm) and inhibits the nucleotide exchange on actin monomers. Site-directed mutagenesis demonstrates that the actin monomer-binding site resides in the C-terminal WH2 domain of MIM. Overexpression of mouse MIM in NIH 3T3 cells results in the disappearance of actin stress fibers and appearance of abnormal actin filament structures. These data show that MIM is an ATP-G-actin binding protein that regulates cytoskeletal dynamics in specialized mammalian cell-types.

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