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J Biol Chem. 2005 Jun 24;280(25):24168-74. Epub 2005 Apr 27.

Acceleration of yeast actin polymerization by yeast Arp2/3 complex does not require an Arp2/3-activating protein.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Roy A., and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


The Arp2/3 complex creates filament branches leading to an enhancement in the rate of actin polymerization. Work with Arp complexes from different sources indicated that it was inactive by itself, required an activating factor such as the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP), and might exhibit a preference for ATP or ADP-P(i) actin. However, with yeast actin, P(i) release is almost concurrent with polymerization, eliminating the presence of an ADP-P(i) cap. We thus investigated the ability of the yeast Arp2/3 complex (yArp2/3) to facilitate yeast actin polymerization in the presence and absence of the Arp2/3-activating factor Las17p WA. yArp2/3 significantly accelerates yeast actin but not muscle actin polymerization in the absence of Las17p WA. The addition of Las17p WA further enhances yeast actin polymerization by yArp2/3 and allows the complex to now assist muscle actin polymerization. This actin isoform difference is not observed with bovine Arp2/3 complex, because the neural WASP VCA fragment is required for polymerization of both actins. Observation of individual branching filaments showed that Las17p WA increased the persistence of filament branches. Compared with wild type actin, the V159N mutant actin, proposed to be more ATP-like in behavior, exhibited an enhanced rate of polymerization in the presence of the yArp2/3 complex. yArp2/3 caused a significant rate of P(i) release prior to observation of an increase in filament mass but while branched structures were present. Thus, yeast F-actin can serve as a primary yArp2/3-activating factor, indicating that a newly formed yeast actin filament has a topology, unlike that of muscle actin, that is recognized specifically by yArp2/3.

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