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J Struct Biol. 1994 Jan-Feb;112(1):3-10.

Native talin is a dumbbell-shaped homodimer when it interacts with actin.

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Department of Biophysics, Technical University of Munich, Garching, Federal Republic of Germany.


Electron microscopy of glycerol-sprayed and rotary metal-shadowed talin from human platelets reveals a dumbbell-shaped molecule with an average length of approximately 51 nm. Analytical ultracentrifugation of native talin yields a single molecular species with an apparent molecular mass of 412 (+/- 28.6) kDa and a sedimentation coefficient of S20w = 11.2. Chemical cross-linking with glutaraldehyde (GA) and corresponding SDS-PAGE analysis show that the monomer band of talin can be quantitatively converted to a dimer band at GA concentrations > or = 0.45%, indicating that there is no significant amount of monomer present in solution. These structural and biophysical data are compatible with native talin being an antiparallel homodimer. Length measurements and viscometric and fluorescent assays of actin filaments polymerized in the presence of native talin and of covalently cross-linked talin dimers all yield similar effects: namely, increased nucleation and polymerization rates and an overall reduction of actin filament length. Hence, we conclude that talin in its native biological state is a dimer when promoting nucleation of actin filaments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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