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Archaeal actin from a hyperthermophile forms a single-stranded filament
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Molecular biophysics.
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2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 112, no 30, 9340-9345 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The prokaryotic origins of the actin cytoskeleton have been firmly established, but it has become clear that the bacterial actins form a wide variety of different filaments, different both from each other and from eukaryotic F-actin. We have used electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) to examine the filaments formed by the protein crenactin (a crenarchaeal actin) from Pyrobaculum calidifontis, an organism that grows optimally at 90 degrees C. Although this protein only has similar to 20% sequence identity with eukaryotic actin, phylogenetic analyses have placed it much closer to eukaryotic actin than any of the bacterial homologs. It has been assumed that the crenactin filament is double-stranded, like F-actin, in part because it would be hard to imagine how a single-stranded filament would be stable at such high temperatures. We show that not only is the crenactin filament single-stranded, but that it is remarkably similar to each of the two strands in F-actin. A large insertion in the crenactin sequence would prevent the formation of an F-actin-like double-stranded filament. Further, analysis of two existing crystal structures reveals six different subunit-subunit interfaces that are filament-like, but each is different from the others in terms of significant rotations. This variability in the subunit-subunit interface, seen at atomic resolution in crystals, can explain the large variability in the crenactin filaments observed by cryo-EM and helps to explain the variability in twist that has been observed for eukaryotic actin filaments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 112, no 30, 9340-9345 p.
Keyword [en]
helical polymers, variable twist, cytoskeletal filaments, crenactin
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-260838DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1509069112ISI: 000358656500063PubMedID: 26124094OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-260838DiVA: diva2:848634
Available from: 2015-08-25 Created: 2015-08-25 Last updated: 2015-08-25Bibliographically approved

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