Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2001 Feb 9;276(6):4175-81. Epub 2000 Nov 7.

alpha -Catenin binds directly to spectrin and facilitates spectrin-membrane assembly in vivo.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA.


The anchorage of spectrin to biological membranes is mediated by protein and phosphoinositol phospholipid interactions. In epithelial cells, a nascent spectrin skeleton assembles in regions of cadherin-mediated cell-cell contact, and conversely, cytoskeletal assembly is required to complete the cell-adhesion process. The molecular interactions guiding these processes remain incompletely understood. We have examined the interaction of spectrin with alpha-catenin, a component of the adhesion complex. Spectrin (alphaIIbetaII) and alpha-catenin coprecipitate from extracts of confluent Madin-Darby canine kidney, HT29, and Clone A cells and from solutions of purified spectrin and alpha-catenin in vitro. By surface plasmon resonance and in vitro binding assays, we find that alpha-catenin binds alphaIIbetaII spectrin with an apparent K(d) of approximately 20-100 nm. By gel-overlay assay, alpha-catenin binds recombinant betaII-spectrin peptides that include the first 313 residues of spectrin but not to peptides that lack this region. Similarly, the binding activity of alpha-catenin is fully accounted for in recombinant peptides encompassing the NH(2)-terminal 228 amino acid region of alpha-catenin. An in vivo role for the interaction of spectrin with alpha-catenin is suggested by the impaired membrane assembly of spectrin and its enhanced detergent solubility in Clone A cells that harbor a defective alpha-catenin. Transfection of these cells with wild-type alpha-catenin reestablishes alpha-catenin at the plasma membrane and coincidentally recruits spectrin to the membrane. We propose that ankyrin-independent interactions of modest affinity between alpha-catenin and the amino-terminal domain of beta-spectrin augment the interaction between alpha-catenin and actin, and together they provide a polyvalent linkage directing the topographic assembly of a nascent spectrin-actin skeleton to membrane regions enriched in E-cadherin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center