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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Sep 12;103(37):13694-9. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Phosphorylation of actin Tyr-53 inhibits filament nucleation and elongation and destabilizes filaments.

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Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Dictyostelium actin was shown to become phosphorylated on Tyr-53 late in the developmental cycle and when cells in the amoeboid stage are subjected to stress but the phosphorylated actin had not been purified and characterized. We have separated phosphorylated and unphosphorylated actin and shown that Tyr-53 phosphorylation substantially reduces actin's ability to inactivate DNase I, increases actin's critical concentration, and greatly reduces its rate of polymerization. Tyr-53 phosphorylation substantially, if not completely, inhibits nucleation and elongation from the pointed end of actin filaments and reduces the rate of elongation from the barbed end. Negatively stained electron microscopic images of polymerized Tyr-53-phosphorylated actin show a variable mixture of small oligomers and filaments, which are converted to more typical, long filaments upon addition of myosin subfragment 1. Tyr-53-phosphorylated and unphosphorylated actin copolymerize in vitro, and phosphorylated and unphosphorylated actin colocalize in amoebae. Tyr-53 phosphorylation does not affect the ability of filamentous actin to activate myosin ATPase.

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