Crystal structure of the actin-binding domain of α-actinin 1: Evaluating two competing actin-binding models
ABSTRACT Alpha-actinin belongs to the spectrin family of actin crosslinking and bundling proteins that function as key regulators of cell motility, morphology and adhesion. The actin-binding domain (ABD) of these proteins consists of two consecutive calponin homology (CH) domains. Electron microscopy studies on ABDs appear to support two competing actin-binding models, extended and compact, whereas the crystal structures typically display a compact conformation. We have determined the 1.7A resolution structure of the ABD of alpha-actinin 1, a ubiquitously expressed isoform. The structure displays the classical compact conformation. We evaluated the two binding models by surface conservation analysis. The results show a conserved surface that spans both domains and corresponds to two previously identified actin-binding sites (ABS2 and ABS3). A third, and probably less important site, ABS1, is mostly buried in the compact conformation. However, a thorough examination of existing structures suggests a weak and semi-polar binding interface between the two CHs, leaving open the possibility of domain reorientation or opening. Our results are consistent with a two-step binding mechanism in which the ABD interacts first in the compact form observed in the structures, and then transitions toward a higher affinity state, possibly through minor rearrangement of the domains.
- SourceAvailable from: uu.diva-portal.org
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Kinetochores are multicomponent assemblies that connect chromosomal centromeres to mitotic-spindle microtubules. The Ndc80 complex is an essential core element of kinetochores, conserved from yeast to humans. It is a rod-like assembly of four proteins- Ndc80p (HEC1 in humans), Nuf2p, Spc24p and Spc25p. We describe here the crystal structure of the most conserved region of HEC1, which lies at one end of the rod and near the N terminus of the polypeptide chain. It folds into a calponin-homology domain, resembling the microtubule-binding domain of the plus-end-associated protein EB1. We show that an Ndc80p-Nuf2p heterodimer binds microtubules in vitro. The less conserved, N-terminal segment of Ndc80p contributes to the interaction and may be a crucial regulatory element. We propose that the Ndc80 complex forms a direct link between kinetochore core components and spindle microtubules.Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 02/2007; 14(1):54-9. DOI:10.1038/nsmb1186 · 13.31 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We have applied correspondence analysis to electron micrographs of 2-D rafts of F-actin cross-linked with alpha-actinin on a lipid monolayer to investigate alpha-actinin:F-actin binding and cross-linking. More than 8000 actin crossover repeats, each with one to five alpha-actinin molecules bound, were selected, aligned, and grouped to produce class averages of alpha-actinin cross-links with approximately 9-fold improvement in the stochastic signal-to-noise ratio. Measurements and comparative molecular models show variation in the distance separating actin-binding domains and the angle of the alpha-actinin cross-links. Rafts of F-actin and alpha-actinin formed predominantly polar 2-D arrays of actin filaments, with occasional insertion of filaments of opposite polarity. Unique to this study are the numbers of alpha-actinin molecules bound to successive crossovers on the same actin filament. These "monofilament"-bound alpha-actinin molecules may reflect a new mode of interaction for alpha-actinin, particularly in protein-dense actin-membrane attachments in focal adhesions. These results suggest that alpha-actinin is not simply a rigid spacer between actin filaments, but rather a flexible cross-linking, scaffolding, and anchoring protein. We suggest these properties of alpha-actinin may contribute to tension sensing in actin bundles.Journal of Molecular Biology 05/2007; 368(1):92-104. DOI:10.1016/j.jmb.2007.01.071 · 4.33 Impact Factor