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Anal Biochem. 2002 Nov 1;310(1):67-71.

Development of a fluorescent F-actin blot overlay assay for detection of F-actin binding proteins.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48309, USA.


Interactions between cellular proteins and filamentous (F) actin are key to many cellular functions, e.g., cell motility, endocytosis, cell:cell adhesion, and cell:substrate adhesion. Previously, a functional assay using 125I-labeled F-actin to detect a subset of F-actin binding proteins by blot overlay was developed. We have modified this assay to use the fluorescent label, Alexa 488, in place of 125Iodine. The detection limit for Alexa 488-labeled actin using a Molecular Dynamics STORM 860 Fluorescence/PhosphorImager was as little as 100pg of labeled actin. The Alexa 488 F-actin assay detects the same proteins from Dictyostelium discoideum and with approximately the same sensitivity (approximately 10 microg/ml F-actin final concentration) as the analogous 125I-labeled F-actin blot overlay. The use of Alexa 488 F-actin for blot overlay assays requires no radioactive materials and generates no hazardous waste. Assays can be performed on the laboratory bench top and the blots imaged directly with a blue laser scanner, either wet or dry. In addition, the Alexa 488 fluorophore is highly resistant to photobleaching, does not decay, and may be stored frozen or lyophilized. Alexa 488 F-actin is a stable, cost-effective, nonhazardous probe used for rapid identification of a subset of F-actin binding proteins.

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