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J Biol Chem. 2013 Feb 8;288(6):4265-77. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.417030. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

The bacterial actin MamK: in vitro assembly behavior and filament architecture.

Author information

1
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.

Abstract

It is now recognized that actin-like proteins are widespread in bacteria and, in contrast to eukaryotic actins, are highly diverse in sequence and function. The bacterial actin, MamK, represents a clade, primarily found in magnetotactic bacteria, that is involved in the proper organization of subcellular organelles, termed magnetosomes. We have previously shown that MamK from Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 (AMB-1) forms dynamic filaments in vivo. To gain further insights into the molecular mechanisms that underlie MamK dynamics and function, we have now studied the in vitro properties of MamK. We demonstrate that MamK is an ATPase that, in the presence of ATP, assembles rapidly into filaments that disassemble once ATP is depleted. The mutation of a conserved active site residue (E143A) abolishes ATPase activity of MamK but not its ability to form filaments. Filament disassembly depends on both ATPase activity and potassium levels, the latter of which results in the organization of MamK filaments into bundles. These data are consistent with observations indicating that accessory factors are required to promote filament disassembly and for spatial organization of filaments in vivo. We also used cryo-electron microscopy to obtain a high resolution structure of MamK filaments. MamK adopts a two-stranded helical filament architecture, but unlike eukaryotic actin and other actin-like filaments, subunits in MamK strands are unstaggered giving rise to a unique filament architecture. Beyond extending our knowledge of the properties and function of MamK in magnetotactic bacteria, this study emphasizes the functional and structural diversity of bacterial actins in general.

PMID:
23204522
PMCID:
PMC3567678
DOI:
10.1074/jbc.M112.417030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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