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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1991;20(2):169-77.

Analysis of cDNA clones for Acanthamoeba profilin-I and profilin-II shows end to end homology with vertebrate profilins and a small family of profilin genes.

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Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, MD 21205.


We have cloned and sequenced full length cDNAs for Acanthamoeba profilin-I and profilin-II. The genes and the encoded proteins are nearly identical except for the region between bp 121 and 210 where 35% of the nucleotides and 47% of amino acids differ. Most of these substitutions are conservative, although three of them are responsible for the differences in the isoelectric points of the isoforms [Kaiser et al., Cell Biol., 102:221-226, 1986]. The DNA sequence revealed six corrections in the previously published protein sequence of profilin-I [Ampe et al., J. Biol. Chem. 260:834-840, 1985] and for the first time resolved the ambiguities at the five positions where profilin-IA and -IB differ. The DNA sequence of profilin-II also allowed us to make two corrections in the protein sequence [Ampe et al., FEBS Lett. 228:17-21, 1988a]. Probes prepared from the cDNAs revealed 1 profilin-IA gene, one strongly cross-hybridizing profilin-I gene and one strongly reacting profilin-II gene on Southern blots of Acanthamoeba DNA. Weaker reactions with other genomic DNA fragments leave open the possibility of one additional gene each for profilin-I and profilin-II. Four different profilin RNAs were resolved on Northern blots. It possible to align the sequences of the three Acanthamoeba profilins with the sequences of nine other profilins from five different phyla. There are only two invariant residues in these profilin sequences, but many pairwise identities and conservative substitutions that indicate considerable divergence of this family of proteins from its ancestral precursor.

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