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J Mol Biol. 1985 Apr 5;182(3):443-54.

Arthrin: a new actin-like protein in insect flight muscle.


There are one or more proteins of 50,000 to 60,000 Mr in the thin filaments of insect flight muscle. A protein of 55,000 Mr has been isolated from insect fibrillar flight muscle and called arthrin. Despite its higher molecular weight, arthrin is in many ways like actin. The amino acid composition of arthrin was similar to that of actin. There were similarities in the peptides produced by digesting the denatured proteins and mild digestion of polymerized proteins cleaved similar-sized fragments from arthrin and actin. Polymerized arthrin activated the Mg2+ ATPase of myosin to the same extent as actin and the ATPase was regulated by rabbit or Lethocerus troponin and tropomyosin. Arthrin did not itself act as troponin-T. Electron microscopy of negatively stained specimens showed that arthrin and actin filaments were similar in structure and that arthrin could be decorated by rabbit subfragment-1 to form normal-looking arrowheads. Arthrin formed paracrystals at an optimum concentration of MgCl2 (25 mM) that was somewhat lower than the optimum for actin paracrystals. Optical diffraction showed that the structure of the paracrystals was similar to those formed from actin. The mass of arthrin and actin filaments relative to phage fd was measured by scanning transmission electron microscopy; the relative mass of arthrin and actin was 1.33, in agreement with molecular weight estimations. Therefore arthrin has the properties of a heavy form of actin. The proportion of actin, arthrin and troponin-T in Lethocerus myofibrils was six moles of actin to one mole of arthrin and one mole of troponin-T. The function of arthrin is not known.

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