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EMBO J. 2008 Nov 5;27(21):2817-28. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2008.216. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

EFC/F-BAR proteins and the N-WASP-WIP complex induce membrane curvature-dependent actin polymerization.

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Laboratory of Membrane and Cytoskeleton Dynamics, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Erratum in

  • EMBO J. 2008 Dec 17;27(24):3332. Takano, Kazunari [corrected to Takano, Kazunori].


Extended Fer-CIP4 homology (EFC)/FCH-BAR (F-BAR) domains generate and bind to tubular membrane structures of defined diameters that are involved in the formation and fission of endocytotic vesicles. Formin-binding protein 17 (FBP17) and Toca-1 contain EFC/F-BAR domains and bind to neural Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (N-WASP), which links phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PIP(2)) and the Rho family GTPase Cdc42 to the Arp2/3 complex. The N-WASP-WASP-interacting protein (WIP) complex, a predominant form of N-WASP in cells, is known to be activated by Toca-1 and Cdc42. Here, we show that N-WASP-WIP complex-mediated actin polymerization is activated by phosphatidylserine-containing membranes depending on membrane curvature in the presence of Toca-1 or FBP17 and in the absence of Cdc42 and PIP(2). Cdc42 further promoted the activation of actin polymerization by N-WASP-WIP. Toca-1 or FBP17 recruited N-WASP-WIP to the membrane. Conserved acidic residues near the SH3 domain of Toca-1 and FBP17 positioned the N-WASP-WIP to be spatially close to the membrane for activation of actin polymerization. Therefore, curvature-dependent actin polymerization is stimulated by spatially appropriate interactions of EFC/F-BAR proteins and the N-WASP-WIP complex with the membrane.

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