Nuclear actin-related proteins (Arps) are subunits of several chromatin remodelers, but their molecular functions within these complexes are unclear. We report the crystal structure of the INO80 complex subunit Arp8 in its ATP-bound form. Human Arp8 has several insertions in the conserved actin fold that explain its inability to polymerize. Most remarkably, one insertion wraps over the active site cleft and appears to rigidify the domain architecture, while active site features shared with actin suggest an allosterically controlled ATPase activity. Quantitative binding studies with nucleosomes and histone complexes reveal that Arp8 and the Arp8–Arp4–actin-HSA sub-complex of INO80 strongly prefer nucleosomes and H3–H4 tetramers over H2A–H2B dimers, suggesting that Arp8 functions as a nucleosome recognition module. In contrast, Arp4 prefers free (H3–H4)2 over nucleosomes and may serve remodelers through binding to (dis)assembly intermediates in the remodeling reaction.
We identify the helicase-SANT–associated (HSA) domain as the primary binding platform for nuclear actin-related proteins (ARPs) and actin. Individual HSA domains from chromatin remodelers (RSC, yeast SWI-SNF, human SWI-SNF, SWR1 and INO80) or modifiers (NuA4) reconstitute their respective ARP–ARP or ARP–actin modules. In RSC, the HSA domain resides on the catalytic ATPase subunit Sth1. The Sth1 HSA is essential in vivo, and its omission causes the specific loss of ARPs and a moderate reduction in ATPase activity. Genetic selections for arp suppressors yielded specific gain-of-function mutations in two new domains in Sth1, the post-HSA domain and protrusion 1, which are essential for RSC function in vivo but not ARP association. Taken together, we define the role of the HSA domain and provide evidence for a regulatory relationship involving the ARP–HSA module and two new functional domains conserved in remodeler ATPases that contain ARPs.
The actin family consists of conventional actin and actin-related proteins (ARPs), and the members show moderate similarity and share the same basal structure. Following the finding of various ARPs in the cytoplasm in the 1990s, multiple subfamilies that are localized predominantly in the nucleus were identified. Consistent with these cytological observations, subsequent biochemical analyses revealed the involvement of the nuclear ARPs in ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling and histone acetyltransferase complexes. In addition to their contribution to chromatin remodeling, recent studies have shown that nuclear ARPs have roles in the organization of the nucleus that are independent of the activity of the above-mentioned complexes. Therefore, nuclear ARPs are recognized as novel key regulators of genome function, and affect not only the remodeling of chromatin but also the spatial arrangement and dynamics of chromatin within the nucleus.
actin-related protein; ARP; nucleus; chromatin; nuclear organization; chromatin remodeling
Actin-related proteins (ARPs) are key players in cytoskeleton activities and nuclear functions. Two complexes, ARP2/3 and ARP1/11, also known as dynactin, are implicated in actin dynamics and in microtubule-based trafficking, respectively. ARP4 to ARP9 are components of many chromatin-modulating complexes. Conventional actins and ARPs codefine a large family of homologous proteins, the actin superfamily, with a tertiary structure known as the actin fold. Because ARPs and actin share high sequence conservation, clear family definition requires distinct features to easily and systematically identify each subfamily. In this study we performed an in depth sequence and comparative genomic analysis of ARP subfamilies. A high-quality multiple alignment of ∼700 complete protein sequences homologous to actin, including 148 ARP sequences, allowed us to extend the ARP classification to new organisms. Sequence alignments revealed conserved residues, motifs, and inserted sequence signatures to define each ARP subfamily. These discriminative characteristics allowed us to develop ARPAnno (http://bips.u-strasbg.fr/ARPAnno), a new web server dedicated to the annotation of ARP sequences. Analyses of sequence conservation among actins and ARPs highlight part of the actin fold and suggest interactions between ARPs and actin-binding proteins. Finally, analysis of ARP distribution across eukaryotic phyla emphasizes the central importance of nuclear ARPs, particularly the multifunctional ARP4.
In response to activation by WASP-family proteins, the Arp2/3 complex nucleates new actin filaments from the sides of preexisting filaments. The Arp2/3-activating (VCA) region of WASP-family proteins binds both the Arp2/3 complex and an actin monomer and the Arp2 and Arp3 subunits of the Arp2/3 complex bind ATP. We show that Arp2 hydrolyzes ATP rapidly—with no detectable lag—upon nucleation of a new actin filament. Filamentous actin and VCA together do not stimulate ATP hydrolysis on the Arp2/3 complex, nor do monomeric and filamentous actin in the absence of VCA. Actin monomers bound to the marine macrolide Latrunculin B do not polymerize, but in the presence of phalloidin-stabilized actin filaments and VCA, they stimulate rapid ATP hydrolysis on Arp2. These data suggest that ATP hydrolysis on the Arp2/3 complex is stimulated by interaction with a single actin monomer and that the interaction is coordinated by VCA. We show that capping of filament pointed ends by the Arp2/3 complex (which occurs even in the absence of VCA) also stimulates rapid ATP hydrolysis on Arp2, identifying the actin monomer that stimulates ATP hydrolysis as the first monomer at the pointed end of the daughter filament. We conclude that WASP-family VCA domains activate the Arp2/3 complex by driving its interaction with a single conventional actin monomer to form an Arp2–Arp3–actin nucleus. This actin monomer becomes the first monomer of the new daughter filament.
This paper provides the biochemical and biophysical basis for actin filament formation, necessary for cell shape and motility
The dynein activator dynactin is a multiprotein complex with distinct
microtubule- and cargo-binding domains. The cargo-binding domain contains a
short, actin-like filament of the actin-related protein Arp1, a second
actin-related protein, Arp11, and conventional actin. The length of this
filament is invariant in dynactin isolated from multiple species and tissues,
suggesting that activities that regulate Arp1 polymerization are important for
dynactin assembly. Arp11 is present in a protein complex localized at the
pointed end of the Arp1 minifilament, whereas actin capping protein (CapZ) is
present at the barbed end. Either might cooperate with conventional actin to
cap Arp1. We tested the ability of Arp11 to interact with conventional actin
and found it could coassemble. Like Arp1, cytosolic Arp11 is found only in
dynactin, suggesting that Arp11 and free cytosolic actin do not interact
significantly. Recombinant Arp11 and Arp1 were demonstrated to interact by
coprecipitation. We developed an in vivo assay for Arp11–Arp1
interaction based on previous observations that Arp1 forms filamentous
assemblies when overexpressed in cultured cells. Arp11 significantly decreases
the formation of these organized Arp1 assemblies. Finally, this assay was used
to confirm the identity of a putative Arp11 homolog in Drosophila
We cloned and sequenced the two actin-related proteins (Arps) present in the profilin-binding complex of Acanthamoeba (Machesky, L. M., S. J. Atkinson, C. Ampe, J. Vandekerckhove, and T. D. Pollard. 1994, J. Cell Biol. 127:107-115). The sequence of Arp2 is more similar to other Arp2s than to actin, while the sequence of Arp3 is more similar to other Arp3s than to actin. Phylogenetic analysis of all known Arps demonstrates that most group into three major families, which are likely to be shared across all eukaryotic phyla. Together with conventional actins, the Arps form a larger family distinct from structurally related ATPases such as Hsp70's and sugar kinases. Atomic models of the Arps based on their sequences and the structure of actin provide some clues about function. Both Arps have atoms appropriately placed to bind ATP and divalent cation. Arp2, but not Arp3, has a conserved profilin-binding site. Neither Arp has the residues required to copolymerize with actin, but an Arp heterodimer present in the profilin-binding complex might serve as a pointed end nucleus for actin polymerization. Both Acanthamoeba Arps are soluble in cell homogenates, and both are concentrated in the cortex of Acanthamoeba. The cellular concentrations are 1.9 microM Arp2 and 5.1 microM Arp3, substoichiometric to actin (200 microM) but comparable to many actin- binding proteins.
Contributions of actin-related proteins (Arp) 2 and 3 nucleotide state to Arp2/3 complex function were tested using nucleotide-binding pocket (NBP) mutants in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. ATP binding by Arp2 and Arp3 was required for full Arp2/3 complex nucleation activity in vitro. Analysis of actin dynamics and endocytosis in mutants demonstrated that nucleotide-bound Arp3 is particularly important for Arp2/3 complex function in vivo. Severity of endocytic defects did not correlate with effects on in vitro nucleation activity, suggesting that a critical Arp2/3 complex function during endocytosis may be structural rather than catalytic. A separate class of Arp2 and Arp3 NBP mutants suppressed phenotypes of mutants defective for actin nucleation. An Arp2 suppressor mutant increased Arp2/3 nucleation activity. Electron microscopy of Arp2/3 complex containing this Arp2 suppressor identified a structural change that also occurs upon Arp2/3 activation by nucleation promoting factors. These data demonstrate the importance of Arp2 and Arp3 nucleotide binding for nucleating activity, and Arp3 nucleotide binding for maintenance of cortical actin cytoskeleton cytoarchitecture.
Actin-related proteins (Arps) are a highly conserved family of proteins that have extensive sequence and structural similarity to actin. All characterized Arps are components of large multimeric complexes associated with chromatin or the cytoskeleton. In addition, the human genome encodes five conserved but largely uncharacterized “orphan” Arps, which appear to be mostly testis-specific. Here we show that Arp7A, which has 43% sequence identity with β-actin, forms a complex with the cytoskeletal proteins Tes and Mena in the subacrosomal layer of round spermatids. The N-terminal 65-residue extension to the actin-like fold of Arp7A interacts directly with Tes. The crystal structure of the 1–65Arp7A·LIM2–3Tes·EVH1Mena complex reveals that residues 28–49 of Arp7A contact the LIM2–3 domains of Tes. Two alanine residues from Arp7A that occupy equivalent apolar pockets in both LIM domains as well as an intervening GPAK linker that binds the LIM2–3 junction are critical for the Arp7A-Tes interaction. Equivalent occupied apolar pockets are also seen in the tandem LIM domain structures of LMO4 and Lhx3 bound to unrelated ligands. Our results indicate that apolar pocket interactions are a common feature of tandem LIM domain interactions, but ligand specificity is principally determined by the linker sequence.
Actin; Cytoskeleton; Protein Domains; Protein Structure; Protein-Protein Interactions; Spermatogenesis; Actin-related Protein; LIM Domain; Testis
The actin-related proteins (Arps) comprise a conserved protein family. Arp4p is found in large multisubunits of the INO80 and SWR1 chromatin remodeling complexes and in the NuA4 histone acetyltransferase complex. Here we show that arp4 (arp4S23A/D159A) temperature-sensitive cells are defective in G2/M phase function. arp4 mutants are sensitive to the microtubule depolymerizing agent benomyl and arrest at G2/M phase at restrictive temperature. Arp4p is associated with centromeric and telomeric regions throughout cell cycle. Ino80p, Esa1p and Swr1p, components of the INO80, NuA4 and SWR1 complexes, respectively, also associate with centromeres. The association of many kinetochore components including Cse4p, a component of the centromere nucleosome, Mtw1p and Ctf3p is partially impaired in arp4 cells, suggesting that the G2/M arrest of arp4 mutant cells is due to a defect in formation of the chromosomal segregation apparatus.
Acute suppression of Arp2/3 complex activity in lamellipodia demonstrates its essential role in actin network treadmilling and filament organization and geometry. Arp2/3 complex activity also defines the recruitment of crucial independent factors, including capping protein and cofilin, and is essential for lamellipodia-based keratocyte migration.
Lamellipodia are sheet-like protrusions formed during migration or phagocytosis and comprise a network of actin filaments. Filament formation in this network is initiated by nucleation/branching through the actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex downstream of its activator, suppressor of cAMP receptor/WASP-family verprolin homologous (Scar/WAVE), but the relative relevance of Arp2/3-mediated branching versus actin filament elongation is unknown. Here we use instantaneous interference with Arp2/3 complex function in live fibroblasts with established lamellipodia. This allows direct examination of both the fate of elongating filaments upon instantaneous suppression of Arp2/3 complex activity and the consequences of this treatment on the dynamics of other lamellipodial regulators. We show that Arp2/3 complex is an essential organizer of treadmilling actin filament arrays but has little effect on the net rate of actin filament turnover at the cell periphery. In addition, Arp2/3 complex serves as key upstream factor for the recruitment of modulators of lamellipodia formation such as capping protein or cofilin. Arp2/3 complex is thus decisive for filament organization and geometry within the network not only by generating branches and novel filament ends, but also by directing capping or severing activities to the lamellipodium. Arp2/3 complex is also crucial to lamellipodia-based migration of keratocytes.
Arp2/3 complex plays a central role in the de novo nucleation of filamentous actin as branches on existing filaments. To form a new actin filament the complex must bind ATP, protein activators (e.g. Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome proteins, WASp) and the side of an actin filament. Amide Hydrogen/Deuterium exchange (HDX) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) was used to examine the structural and dynamic properties of the mammalian Arp2/3 complex in the presence of both ATP and the activating peptide segment from WASp. Changes in the rate of hydrogen exchange indicate that ATP binding causes conformational rearrangements of Arp2 and Arp3 that are transmitted allosterically to the ArpC1, ArpC2, ArpC4 and ArpC5 subunits. These data are consistent with the closure of nucleotide-binding cleft of Arp3 upon ATP binding, resulting in structural rearrangements that propagate throughout the complex. Binding of the VCA domain of WASp to ATP-Arp2/3 further modulates the rates of hydrogen exchange in these subunits, indicating that a global conformational reorganization is occurring. These effects may include the direct binding of activators to Arp3, Arp2 and ARPC1; alterations in the relative orientations of Arp2 and Arp3; and the long-range transmission of activator-dependent signals to segments proposed to be involved in binding the F-actin mother filament.
Arp2/3; actin; cytoskeleton; amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange; dynamics
Arp1p is the only actin-related protein (ARP) known to form actin-like filaments. Unlike actin, Arp1p functions with microtubules, as part of the dynein regulator, dynactin. Arp1p's dissimilar functions imply interactions with a distinct set of proteins. To distinguish surface features relating to Arp1p's core functions and to identify the footprint of protein interactions essential for dynactin function, we performed the first complete charge-cluster-to-alanine scanning mutagenesis of an ARP and compared the results with a similar study of actin. The Arp1p mutations revealed three nonoverlapping surfaces with distinct genetic properties. One of these surfaces encompassed a region unique to Arp1p that is crucial for Jnm1p (dynamitin/p50) and Nip100p (p150Glued) association as well as pointed-end associations. Unlike the actin mutations, none of the ARP1 alleles disrupt filament formation; however, one pointed-end allele delayed the elution of Arp1p on gel filtration, consistent with loss of additional subunits.
ACTIN-RELATED PROTEIN5 (ARP5) is a conserved subunit of the INO80 chromatin-remodeling complex in yeast and mammals. We have characterized the expression and subcellular distribution of Arabidopsis thaliana ARP5 and explored its role in the epigenetic control of multicellular development and DNA repair. ARP5-specific monoclonal antibodies localized ARP5 protein to the nucleoplasm of interphase cells in Arabidopsis and Nicotiana tabacum. ARP5 promoter-reporter fusions and the ARP5 protein are ubiquitously expressed. A null mutant and a severe knockdown allele produced moderately dwarfed plants with all organs smaller than wild type. The small and slightly deformed organs such as leaves and hypocotyls were composed of small sized cells. The ratio of leaf stomata to epidermal cells was high in the mutant, which also exhibited a delayed stomatal development compared to wild type. Mutant plants were hypersensitive to DNA damaging reagents including hydroxyurea, methylmethane sulfonate and bleocin, demonstrating a role for ARP5 in DNA repair. Interestingly, the hypersensitivity phenotype of ARP5 null allele arp5-1 is stronger than the severe knockdown allele arp5-2. Moreover, a wild type transgene fully complemented all developmental and DNA repair mutant phenotypes. Despite the common participation of both ARP4 and ARP5 in the INO80 complex, ARP4- and ARP5-deficient plants displayed only a small subset of common phenotypes and each displayed novel phenotypes suggesting that in Arabidopsis they have both shared and unique functions.
Arabidopsis thaliana; nuclear ARPs; chromatin-remodeling; double stranded DNA break repair; DNA damaging agents; epigenetic control
The dynactin complex contains proteins including p150 that interacts with cytoplasmic dynein and an actin-related protein Arp1 that forms a minifilament. Proteins including Arp11 and p62 locate at the pointed end of the Arp1 filament, but their biochemical functions are unclear (Schroer TA. Dynactin. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol 2004;20: 759–779). In Aspergillus nidulans, loss of Arp11 or p62 causes the same nuclear distribution (nud) defect displayed by dynein mutants, indicating that these pointed-end proteins are essential for dynein function. We constructed a strain with S-tagged p150 of dynactin that allows us to pull down components of the dynactin and dynein complexes. Surprisingly, while the ratio of pulled-down Arp1 to S-p150 in Arp11-depleted cells is clearly lower than that in wild-type cells, the ratio of pulled-down dynein to S-p150 is significantly higher. We further show that the enhanced dynein–dynactin interaction in Arp11-depleted cells is also present in the soluble fraction and therefore is not dependent upon the affinity of these proteins to the membrane. We suggest that loss of the pointed-end proteins alters the Arp1 filament in a way that affects the conformation of p150 required for its proper interaction with the dynein motor.
Arp11; Aspergillus nidulans; dynactin; dynein; p62; p150
The Arp2/3 complex has been shown to dramatically increase the slow spontaneous rate of actin filament nucleation in vitro, and it is known to be important for remodeling the actin cytoskeleton in vivo. We isolated and characterized loss of function mutations in genes encoding two subunits of the Drosophila Arp2/3 complex: Arpc1, which encodes the homologue of the p40 subunit, and Arp3, encoding one of the two actin-related proteins. We used these mutations to study how the Arp2/3 complex contributes to well-characterized actin structures in the ovary and the pupal epithelium. We found that the Arp2/3 complex is required for ring canal expansion during oogenesis but not for the formation of parallel actin bundles in nurse cell cytoplasm and bristle shaft cells. The requirement for Arp2/3 in ring canals indicates that the polymerization of actin filaments at the ring canal plasma membrane is important for driving ring canal growth.
ring canal; oogenesis; actin; Arp2/3; Drosophila
The Arp2/3 complex is an essential component of the yeast actin cytoskeleton that localizes to cortical actin patches. We have isolated and characterized a temperature-sensitive mutant of Schizosaccharomyces pombe arp2 that displays a defect in cortical actin patch distribution. The arp2+ gene encodes an essential actin-related protein that colocalizes with actin at the cortical actin patch. Sucrose gradient analysis of the Arp2/3 complex in the arp2-1 mutant indicated that the Arp2p and Arc18p subunits are specifically lost from the complex at restrictive temperature. These results are consistent with immunolocalization studies of the mutant that show that Arp2-1p is diffusely localized in the cytoplasm at restrictive temperature. Interestingly, Arp3p remains localized to the cortical actin patch under the same restrictive conditions, leading to the hypothesis that loss of Arp2p from the actin patch affects patch motility but does not severely compromise its architecture. Analysis of the mutant Arp2 protein demonstrated defects in ATP and Arp3p binding, suggesting a possible model for disruption of the complex.
Actin-related proteins (Arps), which share a basal structure with actin but have distinct functions, have been found in a wide variety of organisms. While their functions are not yet clear, some Arps are localized in the nucleus and are suggested to contribute to the regulation of transcription. An essential gene of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Act3p/Arp4, encodes the first identified nuclear Arp, which has been shown to bind to core histones in vitro. Here we have analyzed the in vivo function of Act3p/Arp4 on the his4-912δ promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays show that Act3p/Arp4 is bound to the entire his4-912δ promoter region. Conditional act3/arp4 mutations affect transcription from the his4-912δ promoter, where decreased Act3p/Arp4 binding and a change in nuclease sensitivity of chromatin were observed, showing the involvement of Act3p/Arp4 in the regulation of gene expression through the organization of chromatin structure. Taken together with the presence of Act3p/Arp4 in chromatin remodeling and histone acetyltransferase complexes, it is suggested that Act3p/Arp4 functions in transcriptional regulation to recruit chromatin remodeling and histone acetyltransferase complexes onto chromatin.
The actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex mediates the formation of branched actin filaments at the leading edge of motile cells and in the comet tails moving certain intracellular pathogens. Crystal structures of the Arp2/3 complex are available, but the architecture of the junction formed by the Arp2/3 complex at the base of the branch was not known. In this study, we use electron tomography to reconstruct the branch junction with sufficient resolution to show how the Arp2/3 complex interacts with the mother filament. Our analysis reveals conformational changes in both the mother filament and Arp2/3 complex upon branch formation. The Arp2 and Arp3 subunits reorganize into a dimer, providing a short-pitch template for elongation of the daughter filament. Two subunits of the mother filament undergo conformational changes that increase stability of the branch. These data provide a rationale for why branch formation requires cooperative interactions among the Arp2/3 complex, nucleation-promoting factors, an actin monomer, and the mother filament.
The nuclear actin-related proteins (ARPs) share overall structure and low-level sequence homology with conventional actin. They are indispensable subunits of macromolecular machines that control chromatin remodeling and modification leading to dynamic changes in DNA structure, transcription, and DNA repair. Cellular, genetic, and biochemical studies suggest that the nuclear ARPs are essential to the epigenetic control of the cell cycle and cell proliferation in all eukaryotes, while in plants and animals they also exert epigenetic controls over most stages of multicellular development including organ initiation, the switch to reproductive development, and senescence and programmed cell death. A theme emerging from plants and animals is that in addition to their role in controlling the general compaction of DNA and gene silencing, isoforms of nuclear ARP-containing chromatin complexes have evolved to exert dynamic epigenetic control over gene expression and different phases of multicellular development. Herein, we explore this theme by examining nuclear ARP phylogeny, activities of ARP-containing chromatin remodeling complexes that lead to epigenetic control, expanding developmental roles assigned to several animal and plant ARP-containing complexes, the evidence that thousands of ARP complex isoforms may have evolved in concert with multicellular development, and ARPs in human disease.
ARPs; Nucleosome; Epigenetic control; Chromatin remodeling; Histone variant; Multicellular development; SWI/SNF; SWR1; INO80
The actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex is the primary nucleator of new actin filaments in most crawling cells. Nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs) of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP)/Scar family are the currently recognized activators of the Arp2/3 complex. We now report that the Arp2/3 complex must be phosphorylated on either threonine or tyrosine residues to be activated by NPFs. Phosphorylation of the Arp2/3 complex is not necessary to bind NPFs or the sides of actin filaments but is critical for binding the pointed end of actin filaments and nucleating actin filaments. Mass spectrometry revealed phosphorylated Thr237 and Thr238 in Arp2, which are evolutionarily conserved residues. In cells, phosphorylation of only the Arp2 subunit increases in response to growth factors, and alanine substitutions of Arp2 T237 and T238 or Y202 inhibits membrane protrusion. These findings reveal an additional level of regulation of actin filament assembly independent of WASP proteins, and show that phosphorylation of the Arp2/3 complex provides a logical “or gate” capable integrating diverse upstream signals.
The phylum Apicomplexa is an early-branching eukaryotic lineage that contains a number of important human and animal pathogens. Their complex life cycles and unique cytoskeletal features distinguish them from other model eukaryotes. Apicomplexans rely on actin-based motility for cell invasion, yet the regulation of this system remains largely unknown. Consequently, we focused our efforts on identifying actin-related proteins in the recently completed genomes of Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium spp., Cryptosporidium spp., and Theileria spp.
Comparative genomic and phylogenetic studies of apicomplexan genomes reveals that most contain only a single conventional actin and yet they each have 8–10 additional actin-related proteins. Among these are a highly conserved Arp1 protein (likely part of a conserved dynactin complex), and Arp4 and Arp6 homologues (subunits of the chromatin-remodeling machinery). In contrast, apicomplexans lack canonical Arp2 or Arp3 proteins, suggesting they lost the Arp2/3 actin polymerization complex on their evolutionary path towards intracellular parasitism. Seven of these actin-like proteins (ALPs) are novel to apicomplexans. They show no phylogenetic associations to the known Arp groups and likely serve functions specific to this important group of intracellular parasites.
The large diversity of actin-like proteins in apicomplexans suggests that the actin protein family has diverged to fulfill various roles in the unique biology of intracellular parasites. Conserved Arps likely participate in vesicular transport and gene expression, while apicomplexan-specific ALPs may control unique biological traits such as actin-based gliding motility.
The Arp2/3 complex nucleates and cross-links actin filaments at the leading edge of motile cells, and its activity is stimulated by C-terminal regions of WASP/Scar proteins, called VCA domains. VCA domains contain a verprolin homology sequence (V) that binds monomeric actin and central (C) and acidic sequences (A) that bind the Arp2/3 complex. Here we show that the C domain binds to monomeric actin with higher affinity (Kd = 10 μM) than to the Arp2/3 complex (Kd > 200 μM). Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that actin binds to the N-terminal half of the C domain and that both the V and C domains can bind actin independently and simultaneously, indicating that they interact with different sites. Mutation of conserved hydrophobic residues in the actin-binding interface of the C domain disrupts activation of the Arp2/3 complex but does not alter affinity for the complex. By chemical cross-linking the C domain interacts with the p40 subunit of the Arp2/3 complex and, by fluorescence polarization anisotropy, the binding of actin and the Arp2/3 complex are mutually exclusive. Our results indicate that both actin and Arp2/3 binding are important for C domain function but that the C domain does not form a static bridge between the two. We propose a model for activation of the Arp2/3 complex in which the C domain first primes the complex by inducing a necessary conformational change and then initiates nucleus assembly by bringing an actin monomer into proximity of the primed complex.
In metazoans, dynein-dependent vesicle transport is mediated by dynactin, containing an actin-related protein, Arp1p, together with a cargo-selection complex containing a second actin-related protein, Arp11. Paradoxically, in budding yeast, models of dynactin function imply an interaction with membranes, whereas the lack of microtubule-based vesicle transport implies the absence of a cargo-selection complex. Using both genetic and biochemical approaches, we demonstrate that Arp10p is the functional yeast homologue of Arp11, suggesting the possible existence of a pointed-end complex in yeast. Specifically, Arp10p interacts with Arp1p and other dynactin subunits and is dependent on Arp1p for stability. Conversely, Arp10p stabilizes the dynactin complex by association with the Arp1p filament pointed end. Using a novel hRAS-Arp1p one-hybrid assay, we show that Arp1p associates with the plasma membrane dependent on dynactin subunits, but independent of dynein, and sensitive to cell wall damage. We directly show the association of Arp1p with not only the plasma membrane but also with a less dense membrane fraction. Based on the hRAS-Arp1p assay, loss of Arp10p enhances the apparent association of dynactin with the plasma membrane and suppresses the loss of signaling conferred by cell wall damage.
The actin-related protein (Arp) 2/3 complex plays a central role in assembly of actin networks. Because distinct actin-based structures mediate diverse processes, many proteins are likely to make spatially and temporally regulated interactions with the Arp2/3 complex. We have isolated a new activator, Abp1p, which associates tightly with the yeast Arp2/3 complex. Abp1p contains two acidic sequences (DDW) similar to those found in SCAR/WASp proteins. We demonstrate that mutation of these sequences abolishes Arp2/3 complex activation in vitro. Genetic studies indicate that this activity is important for Abp1p functions in vivo. In contrast to SCAR/WASp proteins, Abp1p binds specifically to actin filaments, not monomers. Actin filament binding is mediated by the ADF/cofilin homology (ADF-H) domain of Abp1p and is required for Arp2/3 complex activation in vitro. We demonstrate that Abp1p recruits Arp2/3 complex to the sides of filaments, suggesting a novel mechanism of activation. Studies in yeast and mammalian cells indicate that Abp1p is involved functionally in endocytosis. Based on these results, we speculate that Abp1p may link Arp2/3-mediated actin assembly to a specific step in endocytosis.
actin; yeast; Arp2/3 complex; Abp1; endocytosis