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J Biol Chem. 1991 Mar 5;266(7):4029-32.

Thymosin beta 4 and Fx, an actin-sequestering peptide, are indistinguishable.

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Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6058.


At least 50% of the actin in resting human platelets is unpolymerized, and the bulk of this unpolymerized actin is complexed with a recently identified acidic, heat-stable 5-kDa peptide, named "Fx." Purified Fx binds stoichiometrically to muscle G-actin, forming a complex identifiable by nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Formation of the complex inhibits salt-induced polymerization of G-actin. Here we report that Fx is indistinguishable from thymosin beta 4, an acidic, heat-stable 5-kDa peptide first isolated from calf thymus and thought to be a thymic hormone. The complete amino acid sequence of Fx was determined and was found to be identical with that of thymosin beta 4. Authentic thymosin beta 4 is functionally equivalent to Fx, forming a 1:1 complex with actin monomers and inhibiting polymerization. The widespread distribution and high intracellular concentration of thymosin beta 4 (Fx) strongly suggest that it plays a significant role in regulating actin polymerization in many cell types.

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