Mapping the binding site of thymosin beta4 on actin by competition with G-actin binding proteins indicates negative co-operativity between binding sites located on opposite subdomains of actin.
ABSTRACT: The beta-thymosins are small monomeric (G-)actin-binding proteins of 5 kDa that are supposed to act intracellularly as actin-sequestering factors stabilizing the cytoplasmic monomeric pool of actin. The binding region of thymosin beta4 was determined by analysing the binding of thymosin beta4 to actin complexed with DNase I, gelsolin or gelsolin segment 1. Binding was analysed by determining the increase in the critical concentration of actin polymerization by native gel electrophoresis or chemical cross-linking. The formation of a ternary complex including thymosin beta4 should indicate that the actin-binding proteins attach to different sites on actin. Competition would be indicative of binding to identical or overlapping sites on actin or of a negative co-operative linkage between the two binding sites. Competition of thymosin beta4 for actin binding was observed in the presence of intact gelsolin or the N-terminal gelsolin fragment, segment 1, indicating that thymosin beta4 binds to a site close to or identical with the gelsolin segment 1-binding site. The ternary complex of actin-DNase I-thymosin beta4 was obtained only when using the chemically cross-linked actin-thymosin beta4 complex, indicating that thymosin beta4 is dissociated by the binding of DNase I to actin. It is suggested that the dissociation of thymosin beta4 by DNase I binding to actin is caused by negative co-operativity between their spatially separated binding sites on actin. A similar negative co-operativity was observed between DNase I and gelsolin segment 1 binding to actin. The results therefore indicate that the respective binding sites for DNase I and segment 1 on subdomains 1 and 2 of actin are linked in a negative co-operative manner.
Project description:The WH2 (Wiscott-Aldridge syndrome protein homology domain 2) repeat is an actin interacting motif found in monomer sequestering and filament assembly proteins. We have stabilized the prototypical WH2 family member, thymosin-beta4 (Tbeta4), with respect to actin, by creating a hybrid between gelsolin domain 1 and the C-terminal half of Tbeta4 (G1-Tbeta4). This hybrid protein sequesters actin monomers, severs actin filaments and acts as a leaky barbed end cap. Here, we present the structure of the G1-Tbeta4:actin complex at 2 A resolution. The structure reveals that Tbeta4 sequesters by capping both ends of the actin monomer, and that exchange of actin between Tbeta4 and profilin is mediated by a minor overlap in binding sites. The structure implies that multiple WH2 motif-containing proteins will associate longitudinally with actin filaments. Finally, we discuss the role of the WH2 motif in arp2/3 activation.
Project description:CapG is the only member of the gelsolin family unable to sever actin filaments. Changing amino acids 84-91 (severing domain) and 124-137 (WH2-containing segment) simultaneously to the sequences of gelsolin results in a mutant, CapG-sev, capable of severing actin filaments. The gain of severing function does not alter actin filament capping, but is accompanied by a higher affinity for monomeric actin, and the capacity to bind and sequester two actin monomers. Analysis of CapG-sev crystal structure suggests a more loosely folded inactive conformation than gelsolin, with a shorter S1-S2 latch. Calcium binding to S1 opens this latch and S1 becomes separated from a closely interfaced S2-S3 complex by an extended arm consisting of amino acids 118-137. Modeling with F-actin predicts that the length of this WH2-containing arm is critical for severing function, and the addition of a single amino acid (alanine or histidine) eliminates CapG-sev severing activity, confirming this prediction. We conclude that efficient severing utilizes two actin monomer-binding sites, and that the length of the WH2-containing segment is a critical functional determinant for severing.
Project description:Gelsolin and calponin are well-characterized cytoskeletal proteins that are abundant and widely expressed in vertebrate tissues. It is also becoming apparent, however, that they are involved in cell signalling. In the present study, we show that gelsolin and calponin interact directly to form a high-affinity (K(d)=16 nM) 1:1 complex, by the use of fluorescent probes attached to both proteins, by affinity chromatography and by immunoprecipitation. These methods show that gelsolin can form high-affinity complexes with two calponin isoforms (basic h1 and acidic h3). They also show that gelsolin binds calponin through regions that have been identified previously as being calponin's actin-binding sites. Moreover, gelsolin does not interact with calponin while calponin is bound to F-actin. Reciprocal experiments to find calponin-binding sites on gelsolin show that these are in both the N- and C-terminal halves of gelsolin. Calponin has minimal effects on actin severing by gelsolin. In contrast, calponin markedly affects the nucleation activity of gelsolin. The maximum inhibition of nucleation by gelsolin was 50%, which was achieved with a ratio of two calponins for every gelsolin. Thus the interaction of calponin with gelsolin may play a regulatory role in the formation of actin filaments through modulation of gelsolin's actin-binding function and through the prevention of calponin's actin-binding activities.
Project description:Eukaryotic cell migration proceeds by cycles of protrusion, adhesion, and contraction, regulated by actin polymerization, focal adhesion assembly, and matrix degradation. However, mechanisms coordinating these processes remain largely unknown. Here, we show that local regulation of thymosin-beta4 (Tbeta4) binding to actin monomer (G-actin) coordinates actin polymerization with metalloproteinase synthesis to promote endothelial cell motility. In particular and quite unexpectedly, FRET analysis reveals diminished interaction between Tbeta4 and G-actin at the cell leading edge despite their colocalization there. Profilin-dependent dissociation of G-actin-Tbeta4 complexes simultaneously liberates actin for filament assembly and facilitates Tbeta4 binding to integrin-linked kinase (ILK) in the lamellipodia. Tbeta4-ILK complexes then recruit and activate Akt2, resulting in matrix metalloproteinase-2 production. Thus, the actin-Tbeta4 complex constitutes a latent coordinating center for cell migratory behavior, allowing profilin to initiate a cascade of events at the leading edge that couples actin polymerization to matrix degradation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is not found in healthy subjects, but is readily detected after thermal injury and may contribute to the risk of multiple organ failure. The hypothesis was that a postburn reduction in DNase protein/enzyme activity could contribute to the increase in cfDNA following thermal injury. METHODS:Patients with severe burns covering at least 15 per cent of total body surface area were recruited to a prospective cohort study within 24?h of injury. Blood samples were collected from the day of injury for 12?months. RESULTS:Analysis of blood samples from 64 patients revealed a significant reduction in DNase activity on days 1-28 after injury, compared with healthy controls. DNase protein levels were not affected, suggesting the presence of an enzyme inhibitor. Further analysis revealed that actin (an inhibitor of DNase) was present in serum samples from patients but not those from controls, and concentrations of the actin scavenging proteins gelsolin and vitamin D-binding protein were significantly reduced after burn injury. In a pilot study of ten military patients with polytrauma, administration of blood products resulted in an increase in DNase activity and gelsolin levels. CONCLUSION:The results of this study suggest a novel biological mechanism for the accumulation of cfDNA following thermal injury by which high levels of actin released by damaged tissue cause a reduction in DNase activity. Restoration of the actin scavenging system could therefore restore DNase activity, and reduce the risk of cfDNA-induced host tissue damage and thrombosis.
Project description:On starvation, Dictyostelium cells aggregate to form multicellular fruiting bodies containing spores that germinate when transferred to nutrient-rich medium. This developmental cycle correlates with the extent of actin phosphorylation at Tyr-53 (pY53-actin), which is low in vegetative cells but high in viable mature spores. Here we describe high-resolution crystal structures of pY53-actin and unphosphorylated actin in complexes with gelsolin segment 1 and profilin. In the structure of pY53-actin, the phosphate group on Tyr-53 makes hydrogen-bonding interactions with residues of the DNase I-binding loop (D-loop) of actin, resulting in a more stable conformation of the D-loop than in the unphosphorylated structures. A more rigidly folded D-loop may explain some of the previously described properties of pY53-actin, including its increased critical concentration for polymerization, reduced rates of nucleation and pointed end elongation, and weak affinity for DNase I. We show here that phosphorylation of Tyr-53 inhibits subtilisin cleavage of the D-loop and reduces the rate of nucleotide exchange on actin. The structure of profilin-Dictyostelium-actin is strikingly similar to previously determined structures of profilin-beta-actin and profilin-alpha-actin. By comparing this representative set of profilin-actin structures with other structures of actin, we highlight the effects of profilin on the actin conformation. In the profilin-actin complexes, subdomains 1 and 3 of actin close around profilin, producing a 4.7 degrees rotation of the two major domains of actin relative to each other. As a result, the nucleotide cleft becomes moderately more open in the profilin-actin complex, probably explaining the stimulation of nucleotide exchange on actin by profilin.
Project description:We have previously shown that plectin is recruited into hemidesmosomes through association of its actin-binding domain (ABD) with the first pair of fibronectin type III (FNIII) repeats and a small part of the connecting segment (residues 1328-1355) of the integrin beta4 subunit. Here, we show that two proline residues (P1330 and P1333) in this region of the connecting segment are critical for supporting beta4-mediated recruitment of plectin. Additional binding sites for the plakin domain of plectin on beta4 were identified in biochemical and yeast two-hybrid assays. These sites are located at the end of the connecting segment (residues 1383-1436) and in the region containing the fourth FNIII repeat and the C-tail (residues 1570-1752). However, in cells, these additional binding sites cannot induce the assembly of hemidesmosomes without the interaction of the plectin-ABD with beta4. Because the additional plectin binding sites overlap with sequences that mediate an intramolecular association of the beta4 cytoplasmic domain, we propose that they are not accessible for binding and need to become exposed as the result of the binding of the plectin-ABD to beta4. Furthermore, these additional binding sites might be necessary to position the beta4 cytoplasmic domain for an optimal interaction with other hemidesmosomal components, thereby increasing the efficiency of hemidesmosome assembly.
Project description:Gelsolin is a calcium-, pH- and lipid-dependent actin filament severing/capping protein whose main function is to regulate the assembly state of the actin cytoskeleton. Gelsolin is associated with membranes in cells, and it is generally assumed that this interaction is mediated by PPIs (polyphosphoinositides), since an interaction with these lipids has been characterized in vitro. We demonstrate that non-PPI lipids also bind gelsolin, especially at low pH. The data suggest further that gelsolin becomes partially buried in the lipid bilayer under mildly acidic conditions, in a manner that is not dependent of the presence of PPIs. Our data also suggest that lipid binding involves a number of sites that are spread throughout the gelsolin molecule. Linker regions between gelsolin domains have been implicated by other work, notably the linker between G1 and G2 (gelsolin domains 1 and 2 respectively), and we postulate that the linker region between the N-terminal and C-terminal halves of gelsolin (between G3 and G4) is also involved in the interaction with lipids. This region is compatible with other studies in which additional binding sites have been located within G4-6. The lipid-gelsolin interactions reported in the present paper are not calcium-dependent, and are likely to involve significant conformational changes to the gelsolin molecule, as the chymotryptic digest pattern is altered by the presence of lipids under our conditions. We also report that vesicle-bound gelsolin is capable of binding to actin filaments, presumably through barbed end capping. Gelsolin bound to vesicles can nucleate actin assembly, but is less active in severing microfilaments.
Project description:Hemidesmosomes are stable adhesion complexes in basal epithelial cells that provide a link between the intermediate filament network and the extracellular matrix. We have investigated the recruitment of plectin into hemidesmosomes by the alpha6beta4 integrin and have shown that the cytoplasmic domain of the beta4 subunit associates with an NH(2)-terminal fragment of plectin that contains the actin-binding domain (ABD). When expressed in immortalized plectin-deficient keratinocytes from human patients with epidermol- ysis bullosa (EB) simplex with muscular dystrophy (MD-EBS), this fragment is colocalized with alpha6beta4 in basal hemidesmosome-like clusters or associated with F-actin in stress fibers or focal contacts. We used a yeast two-hybrid binding assay in combination with an in vitro dot blot overlay assay to demonstrate that beta4 interacts directly with plectin, and identified a major plectin-binding site on the second fibronectin type III repeat of the beta4 cytoplasmic domain. Mapping of the beta4 and actin-binding sites on plectin showed that the binding sites overlap and are both located in the plectin ABD. Using an in vitro competition assay, we could show that beta4 can compete out the plectin ABD fragment from its association with F-actin. The ability of beta4 to prevent binding of F-actin to plectin explains why F-actin has never been found in association with hemidesmosomes, and provides a molecular mechanism for a switch in plectin localization from actin filaments to basal intermediate filament-anchoring hemidesmosomes when beta4 is expressed. Finally, by mapping of the COOH-terminally located binding site for several different intermediate filament proteins on plectin using yeast two-hybrid assays and cell transfection experiments with MD-EBS keratinocytes, we confirm that plectin interacts with different cytoskeletal networks.
Project description:The gelsolin-actin complex in the presence of Ca2+ revealed at least three interacting sites on the gelsolin molecule located in the S1, S2-3, and S4-6 domains. In the presence of EGTA, the N-terminal domain of gelsolin is known to be involved. However, the corresponding site on the surface of actin is poorly defined. The present result locates the Ca(2+)-independent plasma gelsolin-binding site on the actin surface. Natural and synthetic actin peptides were tested for their possible interaction with gelsolin and monitored by fluorescence anisotropy measurements and e.l.i.s.a. The interface was thus located within the 360-372 actin sequence near the C-terminal extremity. In addition, we used a chymotryptic digest of gelsolin and determined that its N-terminal domain (S1) was implicated in this interface. We conclude that the interaction of the 41-126 region of plasma gelsolin is the counterpart of the 360-372 sequence in subdomain 1 of actin.