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J Membr Biol. 2001 Mar 1;180(1):73-81.

Actin modulates the gating of Neurospora crassa VDAC.

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Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.


VDAC forms the major pathway for metabolites across the mitochondrial outer membrane. The regulation of the gating of VDAC channels is an effective way to control the flow of metabolites into and out of mitochondria. Here we present evidence that actin can modulate the gating process of Neurospora crassa VDAC reconstituted into membranes made with phosphatidylcholine. An actin concentration as low as 50 nM caused the VDAC-mediated membrane conductance to drop by as much as 85% at elevated membrane potentials. Actin's effect could be quickly reversed by adding pronase to digest the protein. alpha-Actin, from mammalian muscle, has a stronger effect than beta- and gamma-actin from human platelets. The monomeric form of actin, G-actin, is effective. Stabilization of the fibrous form, F-actin, with the mushroom toxin, phalloidin, blocks the effect of actin on VDAC, indicating that F-actin might be ineffective. Cytochalasin B did not interfere with the ability of actin to favor VDAC closure. DNase- did effectively block actin's effect on VDAC, and VDAC decreased actin's inhibitory effect on DNase-I activity, indicating that N. crassa VDAC competes with DNase-I for the same binding site on actin. The actin-VDAC interaction might be a mechanism by which actin regulates energy metabolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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