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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Mar 30;101(13):4379-83. Epub 2004 Mar 19.

Purification and architecture of the ubiquitous Wave complex.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The Wave proteins are major activators of the Arp2/3 complex. The ubiquitous Wave-2 is required for actin polymerization at the leading edge of migrating cells. Here we purify Wave-2 from HeLa cells. Five proteins, Sra, Nap, Wave-2, Abi, and Hspc, are copurified, indicating that they form a tight complex. These proteins are only present in the complexed form, with the exception of Hspc, which displays a free pool. We reconstitute the Wave-2 complex by cotranslating in vitro the five subunits and use this system together with specific immunoprecipitations to study the molecular architecture of the complex. The complex is organized around a core of Nap and Abi. Sra is a peripheral subunit recruited on the Nap side, whereas the Wave and Hspc subunits are recruited on the Abi side of the core.

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