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Mol Biol Cell. 2004 Mar;15(3):1172-84. Epub 2003 Dec 10.

Novel kelch-like protein, KLEIP, is involved in actin assembly at cell-cell contact sites of Madin-Darby canine kidney cells.

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Molecular Tumor Biology Section, Basic Research Laboratory, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892-4255, USA.


Dynamic rearrangements of cell-cell adhesion underlie a diverse range of physiological processes, but their precise molecular mechanisms are still obscure. Thus, identification of novel players that are involved in cell-cell adhesion would be important. We isolated a human kelch-related protein, Kelch-like ECT2 interacting protein (KLEIP), which contains the broad-complex, tramtrack, bric-a-brac (BTB)/poxvirus, zinc finger (POZ) motif and six-tandem kelch repeats. KLEIP interacted with F-actin and was concentrated at cell-cell contact sites of Madin-Darby canine kidney cells, where it colocalized with F-actin. Interestingly, this localization took place transiently during the induction of cell-cell contact and was not seen at mature junctions. KLEIP recruitment and actin assembly were induced around E-cadherin-coated beads placed on cell surfaces. The actin depolymerizing agent cytochalasin B inhibited this KLEIP recruitment around E-cadherin-coated beads. Moreover, constitutively active Rac1 enhanced the recruitment of KLEIP as well as F-actin to the adhesion sites. These observations strongly suggest that KLEIP is localized on actin filaments at the contact sites. We also found that N-terminal half of KLEIP, which lacks the actin-binding site and contains the sufficient sequence for the localization at the cell-cell contact sites, inhibited constitutively active Rac1-induced actin assembly at the contact sites. We propose that KLEIP is involved in Rac1-induced actin organization during cell-cell contact in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells.

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