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EMBO J. 1996 Mar 15;15(6):1238-46.

Linking microfilaments to intracellular membranes: the actin-binding and vesicle-associated protein comitin exhibits a mannose-specific lectin activity.

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


Comitin is a 24 kDa actin-binding protein from Dictyostelium discoideum that is located primarily on Golgi and vesicle membranes. We have probed the molecular basis of comitin's interaction with both actin and membranes using a series of truncation mutants obtained by expressing the appropriate cDNA in Escherichia coli. Comitin dimerizes in solution; its principle actin-binding activity is located between residues 90 and 135. The N-terminal 135 'core' residues of comitin contain a 3-fold sequence repeat that is homologous to several monocotyledon lectins and which retains key residues that determine these lectins' three-dimensional structure and mannose binding. These repeats of comitin appear to mediate its interaction with mannose residues in glycoproteins or glycolipids on the cytoplasmic surface of membrane vesicles from D.discoideum, and comitin can be released from membranes with mannose. Our data indicate that comitin binds to vesicle membranes via mannose residues and, by way of its interaction with actin, links these membranes to the cytoskeleton.

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