Send to

Choose Destination
J Struct Biol. 1998 Nov;123(3):187-98.

The pathway of assembly of intermediate filaments from recombinant alpha-internexin.

Author information

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University, Long Beach, California, 90840, USA.


The pathway of filament assembly from the neuronal intermediate filament alpha-intermexin was investigated. Optimal assembly occurred in solutions of pH 6.5 to 7 and moderate ionic strength at 37 degrees C. Short filaments formed upon dialysis at 24 degrees C, which elongated further when incubated at 37 degrees C. Soluble forms of alpha-internexin were characterized by analytical ultracentrifugation and electron microscopy. In 10 mM Tris, pH 8, conditions that favor formation of tetramers and other small oligomers for other intermediate filament proteins, alpha-internexin formed 10.5 S particles, apparently unit-length half-filaments in the form of rods 10.6 nm in diameter and 68 nm long. Dialysis vs the same buffer with added 10 mM NaCl yielded 16 S rods, probably unit-length filaments, of the same length but 13.0 nm in diameter. At 50 mM NaCl, rods about 13 nm in diameter and heterogeneous in length were observed in electron micrographs, apparently formed from longitudinal annealing of unit-length rods. The results favor a model of assembly in which coiled coil dimers aggregate laterally to form first "unit-length half-filaments" (Herrmann, H., and Aebi, U. (1998) Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 8, 177-185) and then "unit-length filaments," which subsequently elongate by annealing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center