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J Struct Biol. 2000 Sep;131(3):217-24.

MARCKS-related protein binds to actin without significantly affecting actin polymerization or network structure. Myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate.

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Department of Biophysical Chemistry, University of Basel, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


Actinis a 42-kDa protein which, due to its ability to polymerize into filaments (F-actin), is one of the major constituents of the cytoskeleton. It has been proposed that MARCKS (an acronym for myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate) proteins play an important role in regulating the structure and mechanical properties of the actin cytoskeleton by cross-linking actin filaments. We have recently reported that peptides corresponding to the effector domain of MARCKS proteins promote actin polymerization and cause massive bundling of actin filaments. We now investigate the effect of MARCKS-related protein, a 20-kDa member of the MARCKS family, on both filament structure and the kinetics of actin polymerization in vitro. Our experiments document that MRP binds to F-actin with micromolar affinity and that the myristoyl chain at the N-terminus of MRP is not required for this interaction. In marked contrast to the effector peptide, binding of MRP is not accompanied by an acceleration of actin polymerization kinetics, and we also could not reliably observe an actin cross-linking activity of MRP.

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