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Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2013 Sep;20(9):1062-8. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2628. Epub 2013 Jul 28.

Structural basis for regulation of Arp2/3 complex by GMF.

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1] Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA. [2] Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA.


The Arp2/3 complex mediates formation of complex cellular structures such as lamellipodia by nucleating branched actin filaments. Arp2/3-complex activity is precisely controlled by over a dozen regulators, yet the structural mechanism by which regulators interact with the complex is unknown. GMF is a recently discovered regulator of the Arp2/3 complex that can inhibit nucleation and disassemble branches. We solved the structure of the 240-kDa assembly of Mus musculus GMF and Bos taurus Arp2/3 complex and found that GMF binds the barbed end of Arp2, overlapping with the proposed binding site of WASP-family proteins. The structure suggests that GMF can bind branch junctions in the manner that cofilin binds filament sides, consistent with a modified cofilin-like mechanism for debranching by GMF. The GMF-Arp2 interface reveals how the ADF-H actin-binding domain in GMF is exploited to specifically recognize Arp2/3 complex and not actin.

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