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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1988 Jul;264(1):321-32.

Actin assembly activity of cytochalasins and cytochalasin analogs assayed using fluorescence photobleaching recovery.

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Department of Chemistry, Syracuse University, New York 13244-1200.


The effects on actin self-assembly of 9 common cytochalasins and 9 synthetic analogs have been assayed using fluorescence photobleaching recovery (FPR). The specific assembly activities of cytochalasins determined by this assay are (i) reduction of the fraction of actin molecules incorporated into filaments; (ii) increase of the steady-state diffusion coefficients of filaments, from which filaments shortening may be inferred; and (iii) acceleration of the initial rate of assembly. Of the compounds studied, only cytochalasin D shows strong activity of all three types. The range of activities shown by other compounds indicates clearly that these three activity types are distinct and independent. Inspection of the molecular structures of these 18 compounds for correlation of structure and activity reveals that the three different activities depend on distinct structural features. The Mg2+ dependence of filament-shortening activity by certain cytochalasins may be explained by the Mg2+ chelating ability of two suitably positioned oxygen atoms on the convex face of the bicyclic isoindolone system. Inhibition of filament elongation may involve very specific, high-affinity cytochalasin interactions at a binding site on terminal actin molecules, while accelerating activity may occur by weaker, less specific binding interactions of cytochalasins with monomeric actin.

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