Send to

Choose Destination
Biophys J. 1997 Aug;73(2):929-37.

Conformational changes in actin induced by its interaction with gelsolin.

Author information

Institute of Cytology, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia.


Actin cleaved by the protease from Escherichia coli A2 strain between Gly42 and Val43 (ECP-actin) is no longer polymerizable when it contains Ca2+ as a tightly bound cation, but polymerizes when Mg2+ is bound. We have investigated the interactions of gelsolin with this actin with regard to conformational changes in the actin molecule induced by the binding of gelsolin. ECP-(Ca)actin interacts with gelsolin in a manner similar to that in which it reacts with intact actin, and forms a stoichiometric 2:1 complex. Despite the nonpolymerizability of ECP-(Ca)actin, this complex can act as a nucleus for the polymerization of intact actin, thus indicating that upon interaction with gelsolin, ECP-(Ca)actin undergoes a conformational change that enables its interaction with another actin monomer. By gel filtration and fluorometry it was shown that the binding of at least one of the ECP-cleaved actins to gelsolin is considerably weaker than of intact actin, suggesting that conformational changes in subdomain 2 of actin monomer may directly or allosterically affect actin-gelsolin interactions. On the other hand, interaction with gelsolin changes the conformation of actin within the DNase I-binding loop, as indicated by inhibition of limited proteolysis of actin by ECP and subtilisin. Cross-linking experiments with gelsolin-nucleated actin filaments using N,N-phenylene-bismaleimide (which cross-links adjacent actin monomers between Cys374 and Lys191) reveal that gelsolin causes a significant increase in the yield of the 115-kDa cross-linking product, confirming the evidence that gelsolin stabilizes or changes the conformation of the C-terminal region of the actin molecule, and these changes are propagated from the capped end along the filament. These results allow us to conclude that nucleation of actin polymerization by gelsolin is promoted by conformational changes within subdomain 2 and at the C-terminus of the actin monomer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center