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Mol Biol Cell. 1996 Feb;7(2):261-72.

Identification of a cyclase-associated protein (CAP) homologue in Dictyostelium discoideum and characterization of its interaction with actin.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, Germany.


In search for novel actin binding proteins in Dictyostelium discoideum we have isolated a cDNA clone coding for a protein of approximately 50 kDa that is highly homologous to the class of adenylyl cyclase-associated proteins (CAP). In Saccharomyces cerevisiae the amino-terminal part of CAP is involved in the regulation of the adenylyl cyclase whereas the loss of the carboxyl-terminal domain results in morphological and nutritional defects. To study the interaction of Dictyostelium CAP with actin, the complete protein and its amino-terminal and carboxyl-terminal domains were expressed in Escherichia coli and used in actin binding assays. CAP sequestered actin in a Ca2+ independent way. This activity was localized to the carboxyl-terminal domain. CAP and its carboxyl-terminal domain led to a fluorescence enhancement of pyrene-labeled G-actin up to 50% indicating a direct interaction, whereas the amino-terminal domain did not enhance. In polymerization as well as in viscometric assays the ability of the carboxyl-terminal domain to sequester actin and to prevent F-actin formation was approximately two times higher than that of intact CAP. The sequestering activity of full length CAP could be inhibited by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), whereas the activity of the carboxyl-terminal domain alone was not influenced, suggesting that the amino-terminal half of the protein is required for the PIP2 modulation of the CAP function. In profilin-minus cells the CAP concentration is increased by approximately 73%, indicating that CAP may compensate some profilin functions in vivo. In migrating D. discoideum cells CAP was enriched at anterior and posterior plasma membrane regions. Only a weak staining of the cytoplasm was observed. In chemotactically stimulated cells the protein was very prominent in leading fronts. The data suggest an involvement of D. discoideum CAP in microfilament reorganization near the plasma membrane in a PIP2-regulated manner.

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