Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2012 Jan 27;287(5):3087-98. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.312207. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

The C terminus of formin FMNL3 accelerates actin polymerization and contains a WH2 domain-like sequence that binds both monomers and filament barbed ends.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA.


Formin proteins are actin assembly factors that accelerate filament nucleation then remain on the elongating barbed end and modulate filament elongation. The formin homology 2 (FH2) domain is central to these activities, but recent work has suggested that additional sequences enhance FH2 domain function. Here we show that the C-terminal 76 amino acids of the formin FMNL3 have a dramatic effect on the ability of the FH2 domain to accelerate actin assembly. This C-terminal region contains a WASp homology 2 (WH2)-like sequence that binds actin monomers in a manner that is competitive with other WH2 domains and with profilin. In addition, the C terminus binds filament barbed ends. As a monomer, the FMNL3 C terminus inhibits actin polymerization and slows barbed end elongation with moderate affinity. As a dimer, the C terminus accelerates actin polymerization from monomers and displays high affinity inhibition of barbed end elongation. These properties are not common to all formin C termini, as those of mDia1 and INF2 do not behave similarly. Interestingly, mutation of two aliphatic residues, which blocks high affinity actin binding by the WH2-like sequence, has no effect on the ability of the C terminus to enhance FH2-mediated polymerization. However, mutation of three successive basic residues at the C terminus of the WH2-like sequence compromises polymerization enhancement. These results illustrate that the C termini of formins are highly diverse in their interactions with actin.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk