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Biophys J. 2002 Jan;82(1 Pt 1):321-34.

Role of the DNase-I-binding loop in dynamic properties of actin filament.

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Department of Cell Culture, Institute of Cytology, 194064 St. Petersburg, Russia.


Effects of proteolytic modifications of the DNase-I-binding loop (residues 39-51) in subdomain 2 of actin on F-actin dynamics were investigated by measuring the rates of the polymer subunit exchange with the monomer pool at steady state and of ATP hydrolysis associated with it, and by determination of relative rate constants for monomer addition to and dissociation from the polymer ends. Cleavage of actin between Gly-42 and Val-43 by protease ECP32 resulted in enhancement of the turnover rate of polymer subunits by an order of magnitude or more, in contrast to less than a threefold increase produced by subtilisin cleavage between Met-47 and Gly-48. Probing the structure of the modified actins by limited digestion with trypsin revealed a correlation between the increased F-actin dynamics and a change in the conformation of subdomain 2, indicating a more open state of the filament subunits relative to intact F-actin. The cleavage with trypsin and steady-state ATPase were cooperatively inhibited by phalloidin, with half-maximal effects at phalloidin to actin molar ratio of 1:8 and full inhibition at a 1:1 ratio. The results support F-actin models in which only the N-terminal segment of loop 39-51 is involved in monomer-monomer contacts, and suggest a possibility of regulation of actin dynamics in the cell through allosteric effects on this segment of the actin polypeptide chain.

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