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Cell Struct Funct. 1987 Oct;12(5):443-52.

Distribution among tissues and intracellular localization of cofilin, a 21kDa actin-binding protein.

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Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Cofilin, a 21kDa actin-binding protein, binds to F-actin in a 1:1 molar ratio of cofilin to actin molecule (Nishida, E., S. Maekawa, and H. Sakai, Biochemistry, 23, 5307-5313, 1984) and is capable of controlling actin polymerization and depolymerization in vitro in a pH-sensitive manner (Yonezawa, N., E. Nishida, and H. Sakai, J. Biol. Chem., 260, 14410-14412, 1985). In this study, immunoblot analysis using monospecific antibodies against cofilin showed that cofilin is ubiquitously distributed in a variety of bovine and rat organs and tissues. Cofilin is also present in various cultured cell lines. Indirect immunofluorescence staining of mouse fibroblastic cells and human epidermoid carcinoma cells indicated that cofilin is distributed nearly uniformly in the cytoplasm and is concentrated in ruffling membranes where F-actin is also concentrated as revealed by staining with rhodamine-phalloin. Stress fiber structures were not strongly stained with the anti-cofilin antibody, although stress fiber staining was sometimes observed near the cell periphery in mouse 3T3 cells. These results suggest that the bulk of cofilin may not be associated with F-actin bundles in vivo.

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