Reference: Moriyama K and Yahara I (1999) Two activities of cofilin, severing and accelerating directional depolymerization of actin filaments, are affected differentially by mutations around the actin-binding helix. EMBO J 18(23):6752-61

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Abstract


The biochemical activities of cofilin are controversial. We demonstrated that porcine cofilin severs actin filaments and accelerates monomer release at the pointed ends. At pH 7.1, 0.8 microM cofilin cut filaments (2.2 microM actin) about every 290 subunits and increased the depolymerization rate 6.4-fold. A kink in the major alpha-helix of cofilin is thought to constitute a contact site for actin. Side chain hydroxyl groups of Ser119, Ser120 and Tyr82 in cofilin form hydrogen bonds with main chain carbonyl moieties from the helix, causing the kink. We eliminated side chain hydroxyls by Ser-->Ala and/or Tyr-->Phe mutagenesis. Severing and depolymerization-enhancing activities were reduced dramatically in an Ala120 mutant, whereas the latter was decreased in a Phe82 mutant with a relatively small effect on severing, suggesting different structural bases for the two activities of cofilin. The Ala120-equivalent mutation in yeast cofilin affected cell growth, whereas that of the Phe82-equivalent had no effect in yeast. These results indicate the physiological significance of the severing activity of cofilin that is brought about by the kink in the helix.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Authors
Moriyama K, Yahara I
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