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Biochemistry. 2007 Sep 25;46(38):10886-98. Epub 2007 Aug 28.

A C-terminal dimerization motif is required for focal adhesion targeting of Talin1 and the interaction of the Talin1 I/LWEQ module with F-actin.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, 741 South Limestone Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0509, USA.


Focal adhesion complexes are plasma membrane-associated multicomponent complexes that are essential for integrin-linked signal transduction as well as cell adhesion and cell motility. The cytoskeletal protein Talin1 links integrin adhesion receptors with the actin cytoskeleton. Talin1 and the other animal and amoebozoan talins are members of the I/LWEQ module superfamily, which also includes fungal Sla2 and animal Hip1/Hip1R. The I/LWEQ module is a conserved C-terminal structural element that is critical for I/LWEQ module protein function. The I/LWEQ module of Talin1 binds to F-actin and targets the protein to focal adhesions in vivo. The I/LWEQ modules of Sla2 and Hip1 are required for the participation of these proteins in endocytosis. In addition to these roles in I/LWEQ module protein function, we have recently shown that the I/LWEQ module also contains a determinant for protein dimerization. Taken together, these results suggest that actin binding, subcellular targeting, and dimerization are associated in I/LWEQ module proteins. In this report we have used alanine-scanning mutagenesis of a putative coiled coil at the C-terminus of the Talin1 I/LWEQ module to show that the amino acids responsible for dimerization are necessary for F-actin binding, the stabilization of actin filaments, the cross-linking of actin filaments, and focal adhesion targeting. Our results suggest that this conserved dimerization motif in the I/LWEQ module plays an essential role in the function of Talin1 as a component of focal adhesions and, by extension, the other I/LWEQ module proteins in other multicomponent assemblies involved in cell adhesion and vesicle trafficking.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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