National Center for
5BVR: Actin binding domain of alpha-actinin from Schizosaccharomyces pombe
PeerJ (2016) 4 p.e1858
The actin cytoskeleton plays a fundamental role in eukaryotic cells. Its reorganization is regulated by a plethora of actin-modulating proteins, such as a-actinin. In higher organisms, alpha-actinin is characterized by the presence of three distinct structural domains: an N-terminal actin-binding domain and a C-terminal region with EF-hand motif separated by a central rod domain with four spectrin repeats. Sequence analysis has revealed that the central rod domain of alpha-actinin from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe consists of only two spectrin repeats. To obtain a firmer understanding of the structure and function of this unconventional alpha-actinin, we have cloned and characterized each structural domain. Our results show that this a-actinin isoform is capable of forming dimers and that the rod domain is required for this. However, its actin-binding and cross-linking activity appears less efficient compared to conventional alpha-actinins. The solved crystal structure of the actin-binding domain indicates that the closed state is stabilised by hydrogen bonds and a salt bridge not present in other alpha-actinins, which may reduce the affinity for actin.