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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1996;35(3):200-9.

Site-directed mutagenesis of the phosphorylation site of cofilin: its role in cofilin-actin interaction and cytoplasmic localization.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chiba University, Japan.


It has been demonstrated that the activity of ADF and cofilin, which constitute a functionally related protein family, is markedly altered by phosphorylation, and that the phosphorylation site is Ser 3 in their amino acid sequences [Agnew et al., 1995: J. Biol. Chem. 270:17582-17587; Moriyama et al., 1996: Genes Cells 1:73-86]. In order to clarify the function of the phosphorylated and unphosphorylated forms of cofilin in living cells especially in the process of cytokinesis, we generated analogs of the unphosphorylated form (A3-cofilin) and phosphorylated form (D3-cofilin) by converting the phosphorylation site (Ser 3) of cofilin to Ala and Asp, respectively. The mutated proteins were produced in an Escherichia coli expression system, and conjugated with fluorescent dyes. In in vitro functional assay, labeled A3-cofilin retained the authentic ability to bind to and sever F-actin, while labeled D3-cofilin failed to interact with actin. They were then injected into living cells to examine their cellular distribution. They exhibited distinct localization patterns in the cytoplasm; A3-cofilin was highly concentrated at the membrane ruffles and cleavage furrow, where endogenous cofilin is also known to be enriched. In contrast, D3-cofilin showed only diffuse distribution both in the cytoplasm and nucleus. These results suggest that the subcellular distribution of cofilin as well as its interacting with actin in vivo is regulated by its phosphorylation and dephosphorylation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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