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Cell. 1996 Aug 23;86(4):655-65.

An essential cytoskeletal linker protein connecting actin microfilaments to intermediate filaments.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, The University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


Typified by rapid degeneration of sensory neurons, dystonia musculorum mice have a defective BPAG1 gene, known to be expressed in epidermis. We report a neuronal splice form, BPAG1n, which localizes to sensory axons. Both isoforms have a coiled-coil rod, followed by a carboxy domain that associates with intermediate filaments. However, the amino terminus of BPAG1n differs from BPAG1e in that it contains a functional actin-binding domain. In transfected cells, BPAG1n coaligns neurofilaments and microfilaments, establishing this as a cytoskeletal protein interconnecting actin and intermediate filament cytoskeletons. In BPAG1 null mice, axonal architecture is markedly perturbed, consistent with a failure to tether neurofilaments to the actin cytoskeleton and underscoring the physiological relevance of this protein.

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