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Biochemistry. 2002 Jan 15;41(2):597-602.

Hydrolysis of ATP by polymerized actin depends on the bound divalent cation but not profilin.

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Structural Biology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Growing evidence suggests that the nucleotide bound to actin filaments serves as a timer to control actin filament turnover during cell motility (Pollard, T. D., Blanchoin, L., and Mullins, R. D. (2000) Annu. Rev. Biophys. Biomol. Struct. 29, 545-576). We re-examined the hydrolysis of ATP by polymerized actin using mechanical quenched-flow methods to improve temporal resolution. The rate constant for ATP hydrolysis by polymerized Mg actin is 0.3 s(-1), 3-fold faster than that measured manually. The ATP hydrolysis rate is similar when Mg ATP actin elongates either the pointed end or the barbed end of filaments. Polymerized Ca actin hydrolyzes ATP at 0.05 s(-1). Mg ATP actin saturated with profilin can elongate barbed ends at >60 s(-1), 2 orders of magnitude faster than ATP hydrolysis (0.3 s(-1)). Given that profilin binds to a surface on actin that is buried in the Holmes model of the actin filament, we expect that profilin will block subunit addition at the barbed end of a filament. Profilin must move from this site at rates much faster than it dissociates from monomers (4 s(-1)). ATP hydrolysis is not required for this movement.

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