Mechanism of actin filament bundling by fascin.
ABSTRACT Fascin is the main actin filament bundling protein in filopodia. Because of the important role filopodia play in cell migration, fascin is emerging as a major target for cancer drug discovery. However, an understanding of the mechanism of bundle formation by fascin is critically lacking. Fascin consists of four β-trefoil domains. Here, we show that fascin contains two major actin-binding sites, coinciding with regions of high sequence conservation in β-trefoil domains 1 and 3. The site in β-trefoil-1 is located near the binding site of the fascin inhibitor macroketone and comprises residue Ser-39, whose phosphorylation by protein kinase C down-regulates actin bundling and formation of filopodia. The site in β-trefoil-3 is related by pseudo-2-fold symmetry to that in β-trefoil-1. The two sites are ∼5 nm apart, resulting in a distance between actin filaments in the bundle of ∼8.1 nm. Residue mutations in both sites disrupt bundle formation in vitro as assessed by co-sedimentation with actin and electron microscopy and severely impair formation of filopodia in cells as determined by rescue experiments in fascin-depleted cells. Mutations of other areas of the fascin surface also affect actin bundling and formation of filopodia albeit to a lesser extent, suggesting that, in addition to the two major actin-binding sites, fascin makes secondary contacts with other filaments in the bundle. In a high resolution crystal structure of fascin, molecules of glycerol and polyethylene glycol are bound in pockets located within the two major actin-binding sites. These molecules could guide the rational design of new anticancer fascin inhibitors.
Article: Actin structure and function.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Actin is the most abundant protein in most eukaryotic cells. It is highly conserved and participates in more protein-protein interactions than any known protein. These properties, along with its ability to transition between monomeric (G-actin) and filamentous (F-actin) states under the control of nucleotide hydrolysis, ions, and a large number of actin-binding proteins, make actin a critical player in many cellular functions, ranging from cell motility and the maintenance of cell shape and polarity to the regulation of transcription. Moreover, the interaction of filamentous actin with myosin forms the basis of muscle contraction. Owing to its central role in the cell, the actin cytoskeleton is also disrupted or taken over by numerous pathogens. Here we review structures of G-actin and F-actin and discuss some of the interactions that control the polymerization and disassembly of actin.Annual Review of Biophysics 07/2010; 40:169-86. · 13.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fascins bundle actin filaments into large, tightly packed hexagonal arrays that support diverse cellular processes including microvillar projections and filopodial extensions. In Drosophila, fascin is encoded by the singed locus. Severe singed mutants have gnarled bristles and are female sterile due to a defect in rapid cytoplasm transport during oogenesis. In this paper, we report the results of a large EMS mutagenesis screen to generate new singed alleles. A mutation that changes glycine 409 to glutamic acid results in partial inactivation of fascin in vivo; singedG409E mutants have kinked bristles and are fertile with a mild nurse cell cytoplasm transport defect. This mutation is in a small conserved domain near the C-terminus of fascin. A mutation that changes serine 289 to asparagine almost completely inactivates fascin in vivo; singedS289N mutants have gnarled bristles and are sterile due to a severe defect in nurse cell cytoplasm transport caused by the absence of nurse cell cytoplasmic actin bundles. A subsequent EMS mutagenesis screen for dominant suppressors of singedS289N sterility revealed an intragenic suppressor mutation that changes serine 251 to phenylalanine and restores much of fascin's function. These two mutations, S289N and S251F, draw attention to a central domain in fascin.Genetics 06/1996; 143(1):249-58. · 4.01 Impact Factor
Article: How to analyze electron micrographs of rafts of actin filaments crosslinked by actin-binding proteins.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Actin bundles are common cytoskeletal structures but ones which are usually polymorphic, varying from bundle to bundle. Two-dimensional arrays of actin filaments crosslinked by actin-bundling proteins are more tractable structures to analyze than are the three-dimensional bundles found in cells. The first step in analyzing these two-dimensional "rafts" is to determine the spatial relationships between neighboring filaments. It is difficult to discern such relationships by inspection of the electron micrographs of rafts, but easy by examination of the Fourier transforms. We provide theory and examples of the analysis of transforms of rafts, and show that different bundling proteins give rise to different kinds of rafts.Journal of Molecular Biology 01/1999; 284(4):1039-50. · 4.00 Impact Factor