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J Biol Chem. 1988 Jan 15;263(2):722-7.

Severin, gelsolin, and villin share a homologous sequence in regions presumed to contain F-actin severing domains.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, Federal Republic of Germany.


cDNA clones encoding the actin filament severing protein severin from Dictyostelium discoideum were isolated from a cDNA library in lambda gt 11 using monoclonal antibodies. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence with the sequence of a severin peptide indicated that the complete coding region of severin is contained in the isolated clones. Severin, a 39.9-kDa protein, is encoded by one gene in D. discoideum. An mRNA of approximately 1.4 kilobases is present throughout the developmental cycle of D. discoideum. The amino acid sequence of severin contains a region highly homologous to a conserved sequence in villin and gelsolin, two proteins of similar function isolated from vertebrates. This homologous region is believed to participate in the actin filament severing activity of these proteins. Comparison of the severin sequence to the entire gelsolin sequence shows remarkable homologies pointing to a common origin from an ancestral gene from which gelsolin has been derived by a duplication.

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