Ponticulin, a developmentally‐regulated plasma membrane glycoprotein, mediates actin binding and nucleation
ABSTRACT Ponticulin is a 17,000-dalton transmembrane glycoprotein that is involved in the binding and nucleation of actin filaments by Dictyostelium discoideum plasma membranes. The major actin-binding protein isolated from these membranes by F-actin affinity chromatography, ponticulin also binds F-actin on blot overlays. The actin-binding activity of ponticulin in vitro is identical to that observed for purified plasma membranes: it resists extraction with 0.1 N NaOH, is sensitive to high salt concentrations, and is destroyed by heat, proteolysis, and thiol reduction and alkylation. A cytoplasmic domain of ponticulin mediates binding to actin because univalent antibody fragments directed against the cytoplasmic surface of this protein inhibit 96% of the actin-membrane binding in sedimenlation assays. Antibody specific for ponticulin emoves both ponticu-lin and the ability to reconstitute actin nucleation activity from detergent extracts of solubilized plasma membranes. Levels of plasma membrane ponticulin increase 2- to 3-fold during aggregation streaming, when cells adhere to each other and are highly motile. Although present throughout the plasma membrane, ponticulin is preferentially localized to some actin-rich membrane structures, including sites of cell-cell adhesion and arched regions of the plasma membrane reminiscent of the early stages of pseudopod formation. Ponticulin also is present but not obviously enriched at phagocytic cups of log-phase amebae. These results indicate that ponticulin may function in vivo to attach and nucleate actin filaments at the cytoplas-mic surface of the plasma membrane. A 17,000-dalton analogue of ponticulin has been identified in human polymorphonuclear leukocyte plasma membranes by immunoblotting and immunofluo-rescence microscopy. These findings suggest that the structure and function of ponticulin in motile cells has been evolutionarily conserved.
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ABSTRACT: Ponticulin, an F-actin binding transmembrane glycoprotein in Dictyostelium plasma membranes, was isolated by detergent extraction from cytoskeletons and purified to homogeneity. Ponticulin is an abundant membrane protein, averaging approximately 10(6) copies/cell, with an estimated surface density of approximately 300 per microns2. Ponticulin solubilized in octylglucoside exhibited hydrodynamic properties consistent with a ponticulin monomer in a spherical or slightly ellipsoidal detergent micelle with a total molecular mass of 56 +/- 6 kD. Purified ponticulin nucleated actin polymerization when reconstituted into Dictyostelium lipid vesicles, but not when a number of commercially available lipids and lipid mixtures were substituted for the endogenous lipid. The specific activity was consistent with that expected for a protein comprising 0.7 +/- 0.4%, by mass, of the plasma membrane protein. Ponticulin in octylglucoside micelles bound F-actin but did not nucleate actin assembly. Thus, ponticulin-mediated nucleation activity was sensitive to the lipid environment, a result frequently observed with transmembrane proteins. At most concentrations of Dictyostelium lipid, nucleation activity increased linearly with increasing amounts of ponticulin, suggesting that the nucleating species is a ponticulin monomer. Consistent with previous observations of lateral interactions between actin filaments and Dictyostelium plasma membranes, both ends of ponticulin-nucleated actin filaments appeared to be free for monomer assembly and disassembly. Our results indicate that ponticulin is a major membrane protein in Dictyostelium and that, in the proper lipid matrix, it is sufficient for lateral nucleation of actin assembly. To date, ponticulin is the only integral membrane protein known to directly nucleate actin polymerization.The Journal of Cell Biology 03/1993; 120(4):909-22. · 10.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We have cloned and sequenced ponticulin, a 17,000-dalton integral membrane glycoprotein that binds F-actin and nucleates actin assembly. A single copy gene encodes a developmentally regulated message that is high during growth and early development, but drops precipitously during cell streaming at approximately 8 h of development. The deduced amino acid sequence predicts a protein with a cleaved NH2-terminal signal sequence and a COOH-terminal glycosyl anchor. These predictions are supported by amino acid sequencing of mature ponticulin and metabolic labeling with glycosyl anchor components. Although no alpha-helical membrane-spanning domains are apparent, several hydrophobic and/or sided beta-strands, each long enough to traverse the membrane, are predicted. Although its location on the primary sequence is unclear, an intracellular domain is indicated by the existence of a discontinuous epitope that is accessible to antibody in plasma membranes and permeabilized cells, but not in intact cells. Such a cytoplasmically oriented domain also is required for the demonstrated role of ponticulin in binding actin to the plasma membrane in vivo and in vitro (Hitt, A. L., J. H. Hartwig, and E. J. Luna. 1994. Ponticulin is the major high affinity link between the plasma membrane and the cortical actin network in Dictyostelium. J. Cell Biol. 126:1433-1444). Thus, ponticulin apparently represents a new category of integral membrane proteins that consists of proteins with both a glycosyl anchor and membrane-spanning peptide domain(s).The Journal of Cell Biology 10/1994; 126(6):1421-31. · 10.26 Impact Factor
Article: Ponticulin is the major high affinity link between the plasma membrane and the cortical actin network in Dictyostelium.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Interactions between the plasma membrane and underlying actin-based cortex have been implicated in membrane organization and stability, the control of cell shape, and various motile processes. To ascertain the function of high affinity actin-membrane associations, we have disrupted by homologous recombination the gene encoding ponticulin, the major high affinity actin-membrane link in Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae. Cells lacking detectable amounts of ponticulin message and protein also are deficient in high affinity actin-membrane binding by several criteria. First, only 10-13% as much endogenous actin cosediments through sucrose and crude plasma membranes from ponticulin-minus cells, as compared with membranes from the parental strain. Second, purified plasma membranes exhibit little or no binding or nucleation of exogenous actin in vitro. Finally, only 10-30% as much endogenous actin partitions with plasma membranes from ponticulin-minus cells after these cells are mechanically unroofed with polylysine-coated coverslips. The loss of the cell's major actin-binding membrane protein appears to be surprisingly benign under laboratory conditions. Ponticulin-minus cells grow normally in axenic culture and pinocytose FITC-dextran at the same rate as do parental cells. The rate of phagocytosis of particles by ponticulin-minus cells in growth media also is unaffected. By contrast, after initiation of development, cells lacking ponticulin aggregate faster than the parental cells. Subsequent morphogenesis proceeds asynchronously, but viable spores can form. These results indicate that ponticulin is not required for cellular translocation, but apparently plays a role in cell patterning during development.The Journal of Cell Biology 10/1994; 126(6):1433-44. · 10.26 Impact Factor