G2Cdb::Gene report

Gene id
Gene symbol
Homo sapiens
actinin, alpha 2
G00000543 (Mus musculus)

Databases (8)

Curated Gene
OTTHUMG00000040059 (Vega human gene)
ENSG00000077522 (Ensembl human gene)
88 (Entrez Gene)
4 (G2Cdb plasticity & disease)
ACTN2 (GeneCards)
102573 (OMIM)
Marker Symbol
Protein Sequence
P35609 (UniProt)

Literature (70)

Pubmed - other

  • BPAG1 isoform-b: complex distribution pattern in striated and heart muscle and association with plectin and alpha-actinin.

    Steiner-Champliaud MF, Schneider Y, Favre B, Paulhe F, Praetzel-Wunder S, Faulkner G, Konieczny P, Raith M, Wiche G, Adebola A, Liem RK, Langbein L, Sonnenberg A, Fontao L and Borradori L

    Clinic of Dermatology, Geneva University Hospital, Rue Micheli-du-Crest 24, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland.

    BPAG1-b is the major muscle-specific isoform encoded by the dystonin gene, which expresses various protein isoforms belonging to the plakin protein family with complex, tissue-specific expression profiles. Recent observations in mice with either engineered or spontaneous mutations in the dystonin gene indicate that BPAG1-b serves as a cytolinker important for the establishment and maintenance of the cytoarchitecture and integrity of striated muscle. Here, we studied in detail its distribution in skeletal and cardiac muscles and assessed potential binding partners. BPAG1-b was detectable in vitro and in vivo as a high molecular mass protein in striated and heart muscle cells, co-localizing with the sarcomeric Z-disc protein alpha-actinin-2 and partially with the cytolinker plectin as well as with the intermediate filament protein desmin. Ultrastructurally, like alpha-actinin-2, BPAG1-b was predominantly localized at the Z-discs, adjacent to desmin-containing structures. BPAG1-b was able to form complexes with both plectin and alpha-actinin-2, and its NH(2)-terminus, which contains an actin-binding domain, directly interacted with that of plectin and alpha-actinin. Moreover, the protein level of BPAG1-b was reduced in muscle tissues from plectin-null mutant mice versus wild-type mice. These studies provide new insights into the role of BPAG1-b in the cytoskeletal organization of striated muscle.

    Funded by: Austrian Science Fund FWF: P 17862, P 20744; NINDS NIH HHS: NS047711; Telethon: GGP04088

    Experimental cell research 2010;316;3;297-313

  • Alpha-actinin2 cytoskeletal protein is required for the functional membrane localization of a Ca2+-activated K+ channel (SK2 channel).

    Lu L, Timofeyev V, Li N, Rafizadeh S, Singapuri A, Harris TR and Chiamvimonvat N

    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. linglu@njnu.edu.cn.

    The importance of proper ion channel trafficking is underpinned by a number of channel-linked genetic diseases whose defect is associated with failure to reach the cell surface. Conceptually, it is reasonable to suggest that the function of ion channels depends critically on the precise subcellular localization and the number of channel proteins on the cell surface membrane, which is determined jointly by the secretory and endocytic pathways. Yet the precise mechanisms of the entire ion channel trafficking pathway remain unknown. Here, we directly demonstrate that proper membrane localization of a small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel (SK2 or K(Ca)2.2) is dependent on its interacting protein, alpha-actinin2, a major F-actin crosslinking protein. SK2 channel localization on the cell-surface membrane is dynamically regulated, and one of the critical steps includes the process of cytoskeletal anchoring of SK2 channel by its interacting protein, alpha-actinin2, as well as endocytic recycling via early endosome back to the cell membrane. Consequently, alteration of these components of SK2 channel recycling results in profound changes in channel surface expression. The importance of our findings may transcend the area of K(+) channels, given that similar cytoskeletal interaction and anchoring may be critical for the membrane localization of other ion channels in neurons and other excitable cells.

    Funded by: BLRD VA: I01 BX000576; NHLBI NIH HHS: HL85727, HL85844, R01 HL075274, R01 HL085727, R01 HL085844, T32 HL086350

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2009;106;43;18402-7

  • Identification of new putative susceptibility genes for several psychiatric disorders by association analysis of regulatory and non-synonymous SNPs of 306 genes involved in neurotransmission and neurodevelopment.

    Gratacòs M, Costas J, de Cid R, Bayés M, González JR, Baca-García E, de Diego Y, Fernández-Aranda F, Fernández-Piqueras J, Guitart M, Martín-Santos R, Martorell L, Menchón JM, Roca M, Sáiz-Ruiz J, Sanjuán J, Torrens M, Urretavizcaya M, Valero J, Vilella E, Estivill X, Carracedo A and Psychiatric Genetics Network Group

    CIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.

    A fundamental difficulty in human genetics research is the identification of the spectrum of genetic variants that contribute to the susceptibility to common/complex disorders. We tested here the hypothesis that functional genetic variants may confer susceptibility to several related common disorders. We analyzed five main psychiatric diagnostic categories (substance-abuse, anxiety, eating, psychotic, and mood disorders) and two different control groups, representing a total of 3,214 samples, for 748 promoter and non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 306 genes involved in neurotransmission and/or neurodevelopment. We identified strong associations to individual disorders, such as growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) with anxiety disorders, prolactin regulatory element (PREB) with eating disorders, ionotropic kainate glutamate receptor 5 (GRIK5) with bipolar disorder and several SNPs associated to several disorders, that may represent individual and related disease susceptibility factors. Remarkably, a functional SNP, rs945032, located in the promoter region of the bradykinin receptor B2 gene (BDKRB2) was associated to three disorders (panic disorder, substance abuse, and bipolar disorder), and two additional BDKRB2 SNPs to obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depression, providing evidence for common variants of susceptibility to several related psychiatric disorders. The association of BDKRB2 (odd ratios between 1.65 and 3.06) to several psychiatric disorders supports the view that a common genetic variant could confer susceptibility to clinically related phenotypes, and defines a new functional hint in the pathophysiology of psychiatric diseases.

    American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics : the official publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics 2009;150B;6;808-16

  • Strength, power, fiber types, and mRNA expression in trained men and women with different ACTN3 R577X genotypes.

    Norman B, Esbjörnsson M, Rundqvist H, Osterlund T, von Walden F and Tesch PA

    Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical Physiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden. Barbara.Norman@ki.se

    Alpha-actinins are structural proteins of the Z-line. Human skeletal muscle expresses two alpha-actinin isoforms, alpha-actinin-2 and alpha-actinin-3, encoded by their respective genes ACTN2 and ACTN3. ACTN2 is expressed in all muscle fiber types, while only type II fibers, and particularly the type IIb fibers, express ACTN3. ACTN3 (R577X) polymorphism results in loss of alpha-actinin-3 and has been suggested to influence skeletal muscle function. The X allele is less common in elite sprint and power athletes than in the general population and has been suggested to be detrimental for performance requiring high power. The present study investigated the association of ACTN3 genotype with muscle power during 30-s Wingate cycling in 120 moderately to well-trained men and women and with knee extensor strength and fatigability in a subset of 21 men performing isokinetic exercise. Muscle biopsies were obtained from the vastus lateralis muscle to determine fiber-type composition and ACTN2 and ACTN3 mRNA levels. Peak and mean power and the torque-velocity relationship and fatigability output showed no difference across ACTN3 genotypes. Thus this study suggests that R577X polymorphism in ACTN3 is not associated with differences in power output, fatigability, or force-velocity characteristics in moderately trained individuals. However, repeated exercise bouts prompted an increase in peak torque in RR but not in XX genotypes, suggesting that ACTN3 genotype may modulate responsiveness to training. Our data further suggest that alpha-actinins do not play a significant role in determining muscle fiber-type composition. Finally, we show that ACTN2 expression is affected by the content of alpha-actinin-3, which implies that alpha-actinin-2 may compensate for the lack of alpha-actinin-3 and hence counteract the phenotypic consequences of the deficiency.

    Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985) 2009;106;3;959-65

  • alpha-actinin-3 and performance.

    Yang N, Garton F and North K

    The human sarcomeric alpha-actinins (ACTN2 and ACTN3) are major structural components of the Z line in skeletal muscle; they play a role in the maintenance of sarcomeric integrity and also interact with a wide variety of structural, signaling and metabolic proteins. ACTN2 is expressed in all muscle fibers, and expression of ACTN3 is restricted to the type 2 (fast glycolytic) fibers that are responsible for forceful contraction at high velocity. There is a common stop codon polymorphism R577X in the ACTN3 gene. Homozygosity for the R577X null-allele results in the absence of alpha-actinin-3 in fast muscle fibers with frequencies that vary from < 1% in Africans to approximately 18% in Caucasians. A number of association studies have demonstrated that the ACTN3 R577X genotype influences athletic performance in Caucasians; the frequency of the XX genotype is significantly lower than controls in sprint athletes, and it appears that alpha-actinin-3 deficiency is detrimental to sprint performance. In the general population, the ACTN3 genotype contributes to the normal variations in muscle strength and sprinting speed. In an Actn3 knockout mouse model, alpha-actinin-3 deficiency is associated with a shift in the characteristics of fast, glycolytic 2B muscle fibers towards a slow phenotype, with decreased muscle mass and fiber diameter, slower contractile properties, increased fatigue resistance, and an increase in oxidative enzyme activity. The shift towards a more efficient oxidative metabolism may underlie the selective advantage of the X-allele during evolution. In turn, the shift towards a 'slow' muscle phenotype in fast muscle fibers likely explains why loss of alpha-actinin-3 is detrimental to sprint performance.

    Medicine and sport science 2009;54;88-101

  • The parafibromin tumor suppressor protein interacts with actin-binding proteins actinin-2 and actinin-3.

    Agarwal SK, Simonds WF and Marx SJ

    National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. sunitaa@mail.nih.gov

    Background: Germline and somatic inactivating mutations in the HRPT2 gene occur in the inherited hyperparathyroidism-jaw tumor syndrome, in some cases of parathyroid cancer and in some cases of familial hyperparathyroidism. HRPT2 encodes parafibromin. To identify parafibromin interacting proteins we used the yeast two-hybrid system for screening a heart cDNA library with parafibromin as the bait.

    Results: Fourteen parafibromin interaction positive preys representing 10 independent clones encoding actinin-2 were isolated. Parafibromin interacted with muscle alpha-actinins (actinin-2 and actinin-3), but not with non-muscle alpha-actinins (actinin-1 and actinin-4). The parafibromin-actinin interaction was verified by yeast two-hybrid, GST pull-down, and co-immunoprecipitation. Yeast two-hybrid analysis revealed that the N-terminal region of parafibromin interacted with actinins. In actin sedimentation assays parafibromin did not dissociate skeletal muscle actinins from actin filaments, but interestingly, parafibromin could also bundle/cross-link actin filaments. Parafibromin was predominantly nuclear in undifferentiated proliferating myoblasts (C2C12 cells), but in differentiated C2C12 myotubes parafibromin co-localized with actinins in the cytoplasmic compartment.

    Conclusion: These data support a possible contribution of parafibromin outside the nucleus through its interaction with actinins and actin bundling/cross-linking. These data also suggest that actinins (and actin) participate in sequestering parafibromin in the cytoplasmic compartment.

    Funded by: Intramural NIH HHS

    Molecular cancer 2008;7;65

  • Relationship between sex, shape, and substrate in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    Bos JM, Theis JL, Tajik AJ, Gersh BJ, Ommen SR and Ackerman MJ

    Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

    Background: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease characterized by substantial genetic, morphologic, and prognostic heterogeneity. Recently, sex-related differences in HCM were reported, with women being older at diagnosis and exhibiting greater left ventricular outflow tract obstruction than men. We sought to evaluate the influence of sex on the HCM phenotype in a large cohort of unrelated patients with genetically and morphologically classified HCM.

    Methods: Comprehensive genotyping of 13 HCM-susceptibility genes encoding myofilament and Z-disc proteins of the cardiac sarcomere was performed previously on 382 unrelated patients with HCM. Blinded to the genotype, the septal morphology was graded as reverse-curvature, sigmoidal, apical, or neutral-contour HCM by echocardiography.

    Results: Overall, women (a) were significantly older at diagnosis (45.1 +/- 20 vs 35.8 +/- 17 years, P < .001), (b) had greater left ventricular outflow tract obstruction (53.5 +/- 45 vs 41.7 +/- 42 mm Hg, P = .009), (c) were more likely to have concomitant hypertension (19% vs 11%, P = .02), and (d) had a higher rate of surgical myectomy (49% vs 36%, P = .01) than men. Interestingly, these sex-based differences were apparent only among patients with sigmoidal HCM (P < .001).

    Conclusions: In this largest cohort of comprehensively genotyped and morphologically classified patients with clinically diagnosed HCM, we observed that the striking sex-related differences in the clinical phenotype are confined largely to the subset of mutation-negative sigmoidal HCM. Whereas mutations within the sarcomere appear to dominate the disease process, in their absence, sex has a significant modifying effect, specifically noted in cases of sigmoidal HCM.

    Funded by: NCRR NIH HHS: 1 UL1 RR024150-01, UL1 RR024150; NIGMS NIH HHS: T32 GM072474

    American heart journal 2008;155;6;1128-34

  • Toward a confocal subcellular atlas of the human proteome.

    Barbe L, Lundberg E, Oksvold P, Stenius A, Lewin E, Björling E, Asplund A, Pontén F, Brismar H, Uhlén M and Andersson-Svahn H

    Department of Biotechnology, AlbaNova University Center, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.

    Information on protein localization on the subcellular level is important to map and characterize the proteome and to better understand cellular functions of proteins. Here we report on a pilot study of 466 proteins in three human cell lines aimed to allow large scale confocal microscopy analysis using protein-specific antibodies. Approximately 3000 high resolution images were generated, and more than 80% of the analyzed proteins could be classified in one or multiple subcellular compartment(s). The localizations of the proteins showed, in many cases, good agreement with the Gene Ontology localization prediction model. This is the first large scale antibody-based study to localize proteins into subcellular compartments using antibodies and confocal microscopy. The results suggest that this approach might be a valuable tool in conjunction with predictive models for protein localization.

    Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP 2008;7;3;499-508

  • Molecular coupling of a Ca2+-activated K+ channel to L-type Ca2+ channels via alpha-actinin2.

    Lu L, Zhang Q, Timofeyev V, Zhang Z, Young JN, Shin HS, Knowlton AA and Chiamvimonvat N

    Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, GBSF 6315, Davis, CA 95616, USA.

    Cytoskeletal proteins are known to sculpt the structural architecture of cells. However, their role as bridges linking the functional crosstalk of different ion channels is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that a small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (SK2 channel), present in a variety of cells, where they integrate changes in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration [Ca(2+)(i)] with changes in K(+) conductance and membrane potential, associate with L-type Ca(2+) channels; Ca(v)1.3 and Ca(v)1.2 through a physical bridge, alpha-actinin2 in cardiac myocytes. SK2 channels do not physically interact with L-type Ca(2+) channels, instead, the 2 channels colocalize via their interaction with alpha-actinin2 cytoskeletal protein. The association of SK2 channel with alpha-actinin2 localizes the channel to the entry of external Ca(2+) source, which regulate the channel function. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the functions of SK2 channels in atrial myocytes are critically dependent on the normal expression of Ca(v)1.3 Ca(2+) channels. Null deletion of Ca(v)1.3 channel results in abnormal function of SK2 channel and prolongation of repolarization and atrial arrhythmias. Our study provides insight into the molecular mechanisms of the coupling of SK2 channel with voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel, and represents the first report linking the coupling of 2 different types of ion channels via cytoskeletal proteins.

    Funded by: BLRD VA: I01 BX000576; NHLBI NIH HHS: HL68507, HL75274, HL77281, R01 HL075274, R01 HL085844

    Circulation research 2007;100;1;112-20

  • Disruption of alpha-actinin-integrin interactions at focal adhesions renders osteoblasts susceptible to apoptosis.

    Triplett JW and Pavalko FM

    Dept. of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

    Maintenance of bone structural integrity depends in part on the rate of apoptosis of bone-forming osteoblasts. Because substrate adhesion is an important regulator of apoptosis, we have investigated the role of focal adhesions in regulating bone cell apoptosis. To test this, we expressed a truncated form of alpha-actinin (ROD-GFP) that competitively displaces endogenous alpha-actinin from focal adhesions, thus disrupting focal adhesions. Immunofluorescence and morphometric analysis of vinculin and tyrosine phosphorylation revealed that ROD-GFP expression dramatically disrupted focal adhesion organization and reduced tyrosine phosphorylation at focal adhesions. In addition, Bcl-2 protein levels were reduced in ROD-GFP-expressing cells, but caspase 3 cleavage, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage, histone H2A.X phosphorylation, and cytotoxicity were not increased due to ROD-GFP expression alone. Increases in both ERK and Akt phosphorylation were also observed in ROD-GFP-expressing cells, although inhibition of either ERK or Akt individually or together failed to induce apoptosis. However, we did find that ROD-GFP expression sensitized, whereas alpha-actinin-GFP expression protected, cells from TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis. Further investigation revealed that activation of TNF-alpha-induced survival signals, specifically Akt phosphorylation and NF-kappaB activation, was inhibited in ROD-GFP-expressing cells. The reduced expression of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 and inhibited survival signaling rendered ROD-GFP-expressing cells more susceptible to TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis. Thus we conclude that alpha-actinin plays a role in regulating cell survival through stabilization of focal adhesions and regulation of TNF-alpha-induced survival signaling.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: R01 AR-49728, R01 AR052682, R01 AR052682-01A1

    American journal of physiology. Cell physiology 2006;291;5;C909-21

  • Nebulin regulates thin filament length, contractility, and Z-disk structure in vivo.

    Witt CC, Burkart C, Labeit D, McNabb M, Wu Y, Granzier H and Labeit S

    Institute for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, University Hospital Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

    The precise assembly of the highly organized filament systems found in muscle is critically important for its function. It has been hypothesized that nebulin, a giant filamentous protein extending along the entire length of the thin filament, provides a blueprint for muscle thin filament assembly. To test this hypothesis, we generated a KO mouse model to investigate nebulin functions in vivo. Nebulin KO mice assemble thin filaments of reduced lengths and approximately 15% of their Z-disks are abnormally wide. Our data demonstrate that nebulin functions in vivo as a molecular ruler by specifying pointed- and barbed-end thin filament capping. Consistent with the shorter thin filament length of nebulin deficient mice, maximal active tension was significantly reduced in KO animals. Phenotypically, the murine model recapitulates human nemaline myopathy (NM), that is, the formation of nemaline rods combined with severe skeletal muscle weakness. The myopathic changes in the nebulin KO model include depressed contractility, loss of myopalladin from the Z-disk, and dysregulation of genes involved in calcium homeostasis and glycogen metabolism; features potentially relevant for understanding human NM.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL061497, HL062881, R01 HL061497, R01 HL062881

    The EMBO journal 2006;25;16;3843-55

  • A protein-protein interaction network for human inherited ataxias and disorders of Purkinje cell degeneration.

    Lim J, Hao T, Shaw C, Patel AJ, Szabó G, Rual JF, Fisk CJ, Li N, Smolyar A, Hill DE, Barabási AL, Vidal M and Zoghbi HY

    Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

    Many human inherited neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by loss of balance due to cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC) degeneration. Although the disease-causing mutations have been identified for a number of these disorders, the normal functions of the proteins involved remain, in many cases, unknown. To gain insight into the function of proteins involved in PC degeneration, we developed an interaction network for 54 proteins involved in 23 inherited ataxias and expanded the network by incorporating literature-curated and evolutionarily conserved interactions. We identified 770 mostly novel protein-protein interactions using a stringent yeast two-hybrid screen; of 75 pairs tested, 83% of the interactions were verified in mammalian cells. Many ataxia-causing proteins share interacting partners, a subset of which have been found to modify neurodegeneration in animal models. This interactome thus provides a tool for understanding pathogenic mechanisms common for this class of neurodegenerative disorders and for identifying candidate genes for inherited ataxias.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: HD24064; NINDS NIH HHS: NS27699

    Cell 2006;125;4;801-14

  • Multivalent interactions of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II with the postsynaptic density proteins NR2B, densin-180, and alpha-actinin-2.

    Robison AJ, Bass MA, Jiao Y, MacMillan LB, Carmody LC, Bartlett RK and Colbran RJ

    Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Center for Molecular Neuroscience, Vanderbilt-Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232-0615, USA.

    Dendritic calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is dynamically targeted to the synapse. We show that CaMKIIalpha is associated with the CaMKII-binding proteins densin-180, the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor NR2B subunit, and alpha-actinin in postsynaptic density-enriched rat brain fractions. Residues 819-894 within the C-terminal domain of alpha-actinin-2 constitute the minimal CaMKII-binding domain. Similar amounts of Thr286-autophosphorylated CaMKIIalpha holoenzyme [P-T286]CaMKII bind to alpha-actinin-2 as bind to NR2B (residues 1260-1339) or to densin-180 (residues 1247-1495) in glutathione-agarose cosedimentation assays, even though the CaMKII-binding domains share no amino acid sequence similarity. Like NR2B, alpha-actinin-2 binds to representative splice variants of each CaMKII gene (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta), whereas densin-180 binds selectively to CaMKIIalpha. In addition, C-terminal truncated CaMKIIalpha monomers can interact with NR2B and alpha-actinin-2, but not with densin-180. Soluble alpha-actinin-2 does not compete for [P-T286]CaMKII binding to immobilized densin-180 or NR2B. However, soluble densin-180, but not soluble NR2B, increases CaMKII binding to immobilized alpha-actinin-2 by approximately 10-fold in a PDZ domain-dependent manner. A His6-tagged NR2B fragment associates with GST-densin or GST-actinin but only in the presence of [P-T286]CaMKII. Similarly, His6-tagged densin-180 or alpha-actinin fragments associate with GST-NR2B in a [P-T286]CaMKII-dependent manner. In addition, GST-NR2B and His6-tagged alpha-actinin can bind simultaneously to monomeric CaMKII subunits. In combination, these data support a model in which [P-T286]CaMKIIalpha can simultaneously interact with multiple dendritic spine proteins, possibly stabilizing the synaptic localization of CaMKII and/or nucleating a multiprotein synaptic signaling complex.

    Funded by: NIDDK NIH HHS: 5T32-DK07563; NIMH NIH HHS: F32-MH068129, R01 MH063232, R01 MH063232-05, R01-MH63232; NINDS NIH HHS: R01-NS44282

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2005;280;42;35329-36

  • A human protein-protein interaction network: a resource for annotating the proteome.

    Stelzl U, Worm U, Lalowski M, Haenig C, Brembeck FH, Goehler H, Stroedicke M, Zenkner M, Schoenherr A, Koeppen S, Timm J, Mintzlaff S, Abraham C, Bock N, Kietzmann S, Goedde A, Toksöz E, Droege A, Krobitsch S, Korn B, Birchmeier W, Lehrach H and Wanker EE

    Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine, 13092 Berlin-Buch, Germany.

    Protein-protein interaction maps provide a valuable framework for a better understanding of the functional organization of the proteome. To detect interacting pairs of human proteins systematically, a protein matrix of 4456 baits and 5632 preys was screened by automated yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) interaction mating. We identified 3186 mostly novel interactions among 1705 proteins, resulting in a large, highly connected network. Independent pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation assays validated the overall quality of the Y2H interactions. Using topological and GO criteria, a scoring system was developed to define 911 high-confidence interactions among 401 proteins. Furthermore, the network was searched for interactions linking uncharacterized gene products and human disease proteins to regulatory cellular pathways. Two novel Axin-1 interactions were validated experimentally, characterizing ANP32A and CRMP1 as modulators of Wnt signaling. Systematic human protein interaction screens can lead to a more comprehensive understanding of protein function and cellular processes.

    Cell 2005;122;6;957-68

  • Alpha-actinin associates with polycystin-2 and regulates its channel activity.

    Li Q, Montalbetti N, Shen PY, Dai XQ, Cheeseman CI, Karpinski E, Wu G, Cantiello HF and Chen XZ

    Membrane Protein Research Group, Department of Physiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H7 Canada.

    Polycystin-2 (PC2) is the product of the PKD2 gene, which is mutated in 10-15% patients of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). PC2 is an integral transmembrane protein and acts as a calcium-permeable cation channel. The functional modulation of this channel by other protein partners remains largely unknown. In the present study, using a yeast two-hybrid approach, we discovered that both intracellular N- and C-termini of PC2 associate with alpha-actinins, actin-binding and actin-bundling proteins important in cytoskeleton organization, cell adhesion, proliferation and migration. The PC2-alpha-actinin association was confirmed by in vitro glutathione S-transferase pull-down and dot blot overlay assays. In addition, the in vivo interaction between endogenous PC2 and alpha-actinins was demonstrated by co-immunoprecipitation in human embryonic kidney 293 and Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells, rat kidney and heart tissues and human syncytiotrophoblast (hST) apical membrane vesicles. Immunofluorescence experiments showed that PC2 and alpha-actinin were partially co-localized in epithelial MDCK and inner medullary collecting duct cells, NIH 3T3 fibroblasts and hST vesicles. We studied the functional modulation of PC2 by alpha-actinin in a lipid bilayer electrophysiology system using in vitro translated PC2 and found that alpha-actinin substantially stimulated the channel activity of reconstituted PC2. A similar stimulatory effect of alpha-actinin on PC2 was also observed when hST vesicles were reconstituted in lipid bilayer. Thus, physical and functional interactions between PC2 and alpha-actinin may play an important role in abnormal cell adhesion, proliferation and migration observed in ADPKD.

    Human molecular genetics 2005;14;12;1587-603

  • Synaptopodin regulates the actin-bundling activity of alpha-actinin in an isoform-specific manner.

    Asanuma K, Kim K, Oh J, Giardino L, Chabanis S, Faul C, Reiser J and Mundel P

    Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.

    Synaptopodin is the founding member of a novel class of proline-rich actin-associated proteins highly expressed in telencephalic dendrites and renal podocytes. Synaptopodin-deficient (synpo(-/-)) mice lack the dendritic spine apparatus and display impaired activity-dependent long-term synaptic plasticity. In contrast, the ultrastructure of podocytes in synpo(-/-) mice is normal. Here we show that synpo(-/-) mice display impaired recovery from protamine sulfate-induced podocyte foot process (FP) effacement and LPS-induced nephrotic syndrome. Similarly, synpo(-/-) podocytes show impaired actin filament reformation in vitro. We further demonstrate that synaptopodin exists in 3 isoforms, neuronal Synpo-short (685 AA), renal Synpo-long (903 AA), and Synpo-T (181 AA). The C terminus of Synpo-long is identical to that of Synpo-T. All 3 isoforms specifically interact with alpha-actinin and elongate alpha-actinin-induced actin filaments. synpo(-/-) mice lack Synpo-short and Synpo-long expression but show an upregulation of Synpo-T protein expression in podocytes, though not in the brain. Gene silencing of Synpo-T abrogates stress-fiber formation in synpo(-/-) podocytes, demonstrating that Synpo-T serves as a backup for Synpo-long in synpo(-/-) podocytes. In concert, synaptopodin regulates the actin-bundling activity of alpha-actinin in highly dynamic cell compartments, such as podocyte FPs and the dendritic spine apparatus.

    Funded by: NIDA NIH HHS: DA18886, R01 DA018886; NIDDK NIH HHS: DK062472, DK064236, DK57683, P50 DK064236, R01 DK057683, R01 DK062472

    The Journal of clinical investigation 2005;115;5;1188-98

  • Alpha-actinin-2, a cytoskeletal protein, binds to angiogenin.

    Hu H, Gao X, Sun Y, Zhou J, Yang M and Xu Z

    Research Center for Environmental Genomics, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310031, China.

    Angiogenin is an angiogenic factor which is involved in tumorigenesis. However, no particular intracellular protein is known to interact directly with angiogenin. In the present study, we reported the identification of alpha-actinin-2, an actin-crosslinking protein, as a potential angiogenin-interacting partner by yeast two-hybrid screening. This interaction was confirmed by different approaches. First, angiogenin was pulled down together with His-tagged alpha-actinin-2 by Ni(2+)-agarose resins. Second, alpha-actinin-2 was coimmunoprecipitated with angiogenin by anti-angiogenin monoclonal antibody. Third, the in vivo interaction of these two proteins was revealed by fluorescence resonance energy transfer analysis. Since members of alpha-actinin family play pivotal roles in cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, the interaction between alpha-actinin-2 and angiogenin may underline one possible mechanism of angiogenin in angiogenesis. Our finding presents the first evidence of an interaction of a cytosolic protein with angiogenin, which might be a novel interference target for anti-angiogenesis and anti-tumor therapy.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2005;329;2;661-7

  • Automated yeast two-hybrid screening for nuclear receptor-interacting proteins.

    Albers M, Kranz H, Kober I, Kaiser C, Klink M, Suckow J, Kern R and Koegl M

    PheneX Pharmaceuticals AG, Im Neuenheimer Feld 515, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

    High throughput analysis of protein-protein interactions is an important sector of hypothesis-generating research. Using an improved and automated version of the yeast two-hybrid system, we completed a large interaction screening project with a focus on nuclear receptors and their cofactors. A total of 425 independent yeast two-hybrid cDNA library screens resulted in 6425 potential interacting protein fragments involved in 1613 different interaction pairs. We show that simple statistical parameters can be used to narrow down the data set to a high confidence set of 377 interaction pairs where validated interactions are enriched to 61% of all pairs. Within the high confidence set, there are 64 novel proteins potentially binding to nuclear receptors or their cofactors. We discuss several examples of high interest, and we expect that communication of this huge data set will help to complement our knowledge of the protein interaction repertoire of this family of transcription factors and instigate the characterization of the various novel candidate interactors.

    Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP 2005;4;2;205-13

  • The status, quality, and expansion of the NIH full-length cDNA project: the Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC).

    Gerhard DS, Wagner L, Feingold EA, Shenmen CM, Grouse LH, Schuler G, Klein SL, Old S, Rasooly R, Good P, Guyer M, Peck AM, Derge JG, Lipman D, Collins FS, Jang W, Sherry S, Feolo M, Misquitta L, Lee E, Rotmistrovsky K, Greenhut SF, Schaefer CF, Buetow K, Bonner TI, Haussler D, Kent J, Kiekhaus M, Furey T, Brent M, Prange C, Schreiber K, Shapiro N, Bhat NK, Hopkins RF, Hsie F, Driscoll T, Soares MB, Casavant TL, Scheetz TE, Brown-stein MJ, Usdin TB, Toshiyuki S, Carninci P, Piao Y, Dudekula DB, Ko MS, Kawakami K, Suzuki Y, Sugano S, Gruber CE, Smith MR, Simmons B, Moore T, Waterman R, Johnson SL, Ruan Y, Wei CL, Mathavan S, Gunaratne PH, Wu J, Garcia AM, Hulyk SW, Fuh E, Yuan Y, Sneed A, Kowis C, Hodgson A, Muzny DM, McPherson J, Gibbs RA, Fahey J, Helton E, Ketteman M, Madan A, Rodrigues S, Sanchez A, Whiting M, Madari A, Young AC, Wetherby KD, Granite SJ, Kwong PN, Brinkley CP, Pearson RL, Bouffard GG, Blakesly RW, Green ED, Dickson MC, Rodriguez AC, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Myers RM, Butterfield YS, Griffith M, Griffith OL, Krzywinski MI, Liao N, Morin R, Morrin R, Palmquist D, Petrescu AS, Skalska U, Smailus DE, Stott JM, Schnerch A, Schein JE, Jones SJ, Holt RA, Baross A, Marra MA, Clifton S, Makowski KA, Bosak S, Malek J and MGC Project Team

    The National Institutes of Health's Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) project was designed to generate and sequence a publicly accessible cDNA resource containing a complete open reading frame (ORF) for every human and mouse gene. The project initially used a random strategy to select clones from a large number of cDNA libraries from diverse tissues. Candidate clones were chosen based on 5'-EST sequences, and then fully sequenced to high accuracy and analyzed by algorithms developed for this project. Currently, more than 11,000 human and 10,000 mouse genes are represented in MGC by at least one clone with a full ORF. The random selection approach is now reaching a saturation point, and a transition to protocols targeted at the missing transcripts is now required to complete the mouse and human collections. Comparison of the sequence of the MGC clones to reference genome sequences reveals that most cDNA clones are of very high sequence quality, although it is likely that some cDNAs may carry missense variants as a consequence of experimental artifact, such as PCR, cloning, or reverse transcriptase errors. Recently, a rat cDNA component was added to the project, and ongoing frog (Xenopus) and zebrafish (Danio) cDNA projects were expanded to take advantage of the high-throughput MGC pipeline.

    Funded by: PHS HHS: N01-C0-12400

    Genome research 2004;14;10B;2121-7

  • The enhancement of nuclear receptor transcriptional activation by a mouse actin-binding protein, alpha actinin 2.

    Huang SM, Huang CJ, Wang WM, Kang JC and Hsu WC

    Department of Biochemistry, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan 114, Republic of China.

    The p160 coactivators, steroid receptor coactivator 1, glucocorticoid receptor interacting protein 1 (GRIP1) and the activator of thyroid and retinoic acid receptor, have two activation domains, AD1 and AD2, which transmit the activation signal from the DNA-bound nuclear receptor to the chromatin and/or transcription machinery. In screening for mammalian proteins that bind the AD2 of GRIP1, we identified a mouse actin-binding protein, alpha actinin 2 (mACTN2). mACTN2 was expressed in the heart, skeletal muscle, lung, brain and testis, but there was no expression in the spleen, liver or kidney. Interestingly, the expression level of mACTN2 in the developing embryo depended on the embryonic stage. We further demonstrated that mACTN2 could enhance two transactivation activities of GRIP1, which in turn could enhance the homodimerization of mACTN2. Importantly, mACTN2 not only served as a primary coactivator for androgen receptor, estrogen receptor and thyroid receptor activities, but also acted synergistically with GRIP1 to enhance these nuclear receptor (NR) functions. However, the NR binding motif, LXXLL, conserved in mACTN2 and other actinin family proteins, might be a dispensable domain for its coactivator roles in NRs. These findings suggested that mACTN2 might play an important role in GRIP1-induced NR coactivator functions.

    Journal of molecular endocrinology 2004;32;2;481-96

  • Characterization of the proteins released from activated platelets leads to localization of novel platelet proteins in human atherosclerotic lesions.

    Coppinger JA, Cagney G, Toomey S, Kislinger T, Belton O, McRedmond JP, Cahill DJ, Emili A, Fitzgerald DJ and Maguire PB

    Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland.

    Proteins secreted by activated platelets can adhere to the vessel wall and promote the development of atherosclerosis and thrombosis. Despite this biologic significance, however, the complement of proteins comprising the platelet releasate is largely unknown. Using a proteomics approach, we have identified more than 300 proteins released by human platelets following thrombin activation. Many of the proteins identified were not previously attributed to platelets, including secretogranin III, a potential monocyte chemoattractant precursor; cyclophilin A, a vascular smooth muscle cell growth factor; calumenin, an inhibitor of the vitamin K epoxide reductase-warfarin interaction, as well as proteins of unknown function that map to expressed sequence tags. Secretogranin III, cyclophilin A, and calumenin were confirmed to localize in platelets and to be released upon activation. Furthermore, while absent in normal vasculature, they were identified in human atherosclerotic lesions. Therefore, these and other proteins released from platelets may contribute to atherosclerosis and to the thrombosis that complicates the disease. Moreover, as soluble extracellular proteins, they may prove suitable as novel therapeutic targets.

    Blood 2004;103;6;2096-104

  • The eps8 family of proteins links growth factor stimulation to actin reorganization generating functional redundancy in the Ras/Rac pathway.

    Offenhäuser N, Borgonovo A, Disanza A, Romano P, Ponzanelli I, Iannolo G, Di Fiore PP and Scita G

    The FIRC Institute for Molecular Oncology, 20134 Milan, Italy.

    Sos-1, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF), eps8 and Abi1, two signaling proteins, and the lipid kinase phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K), assemble in a multimolecular complex required for Rac activation leading to actin cytoskeletal remodeling. Consistently, eps8 -/- fibroblasts fail to form membrane ruffles in response to growth factor stimulation. Surprisingly, eps8 null mice are healthy, fertile, and display no overt phenotype, suggesting the existence of functional redundancy within this pathway. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of a family of eps8-related proteins, comprising three novel gene products, named eps8L1, eps8L2, and eps8L3. Eps8Ls display collinear topology and 27-42% identity to eps8. Similarly to eps8, eps8Ls interact with Abi1 and Sos-1; however, only eps8L1 and eps8L2 activate the Rac-GEF activity of Sos-1, and bind to actin in vivo. Consistently, eps8L1 and eps8L2, but not eps8L3, localize to PDGF-induced, F-actin-rich ruffles and restore receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)-mediated actin remodeling when expressed in eps8 -/- fibroblasts. Thus, the eps8Ls define a novel family of proteins responsible for functional redundancy in the RTK-activated signaling pathway leading to actin remodeling. Finally, the patterns of expression of eps8 and eps8L2 in mice are remarkably overlapping, thus providing a likely explanation for the lack of overt phenotype in eps8 null mice.

    Molecular biology of the cell 2004;15;1;91-8

  • The NMDA receptor is coupled to the ERK pathway by a direct interaction between NR2B and RasGRF1.

    Krapivinsky G, Krapivinsky L, Manasian Y, Ivanov A, Tyzio R, Pellegrino C, Ben-Ari Y, Clapham DE and Medina I

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Children's Hospital, 1309 Enders Building, 320 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    The NMDA subtype of glutamate receptors (NMDAR) at excitatory neuronal synapses plays a key role in synaptic plasticity. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1,2 or ERK) pathway is an essential component of NMDAR signal transduction controlling the neuroplasticity underlying memory processes, neuronal development, and refinement of synaptic connections. Here we show that NR2B, but not NR2A or NR1 subunits of the NMDAR, interacts in vivo and in vitro with RasGRF1, a Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent Ras-guanine-nucleotide-releasing factor. Specific disruption of this interaction in living neurons abrogates NMDAR-dependent ERK activation. Thus, RasGRF1 serves as NMDAR-dependent regulator of the ERK kinase pathway. The specific association of RasGRF1 with the NR2B subunit and study of ERK activation in neurons with varied content of NR2B suggests that NR2B-containing channels are the dominant activators of the NMDA-dependent ERK pathway.

    Neuron 2003;40;4;775-84

  • Activation of peripheral NMDA receptors contributes to human pain and rat afferent discharges evoked by injection of glutamate into the masseter muscle.

    Cairns BE, Svensson P, Wang K, Hupfeld S, Graven-Nielsen T, Sessle BJ, Berde CB and Arendt-Nielsen L

    Department of Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School/Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

    Peripheral N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are found in deep tissues and may play a role in deep tissue pain. Injection of the endogenous NMDA receptor agonist glutamate into the masseter muscle excites deep craniofacial afferent fibers in rats and evokes pain in human subjects. It is not clear whether peripheral NMDA receptors play a role in these effects of glutamate. Accordingly, the effect of NMDA on afferent activity as well as the effect of locally administered NMDA receptor antagonists on glutamate-evoked afferent discharges in acutely anesthetized rats and muscle pain in human subjects was examined. Injection of NMDA into the masseter muscle evoked afferent discharges in a concentration-related manner. It was found that the NMDA receptor antagonists 2-amino-5-phosphonvalerate (APV, 10 mM), ketamine (10 mM), and dextromethorphan (40 mM) significantly decreased glutamate-evoked afferent discharges. The effects of APV and ketamine, but not dextromethorphan, were selective for glutamate-evoked afferent discharges and did not affect hypertonic saline-evoked afferent discharges. In human experiments, it was found that 10 mM ketamine decreased glutamate-evoked muscle pain but had no effect on hypertonic saline-evoked muscle pain. These results indicate that injection of glutamate into the masseter muscle evokes afferent discharges in rats and muscle pain in humans in part through activation of peripheral NMDA receptors. It is conceivable that activation of peripheral NMDA receptors may contribute to masticatory muscle pain and that peripherally acting NMDA receptor antagonists could prove to be effective analgesics for this type of pain.

    Journal of neurophysiology 2003;90;4;2098-105

  • The adenosine A2A receptor interacts with the actin-binding protein alpha-actinin.

    Burgueño J, Blake DJ, Benson MA, Tinsley CL, Esapa CT, Canela EI, Penela P, Mallol J, Mayor F, Lluis C, Franco R and Ciruela F

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

    Recently, evidence has emerged that heptaspanning membrane or G protein-coupled receptors may be linked to intracellular proteins identified as regulators of receptor anchoring and signaling. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified alpha-actinin, a major F-actin-cross-linking protein, as a binding partner for the C-terminal domain of the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR). Colocalization, co-immunoprecipitation, and pull-down experiments showed a close and specific interaction between A2AR and alpha-actinin in transfected HEK-293 cells and also in rat striatal tissue. A2AR activation by agonist induced the internalization of the receptor by a process that involved rapid beta-arrestin translocation from the cytoplasm to the cell surface. In the subsequent receptor traffic from the cell surface, the role of actin organization was shown to be crucial in transiently transfected HEK-293 cells, as actin depolymerization by cytochalasin D prevented its agonist-induced internalization. A2ADeltaCTR, a mutant version of A2AR that lacks the C-terminal domain and does not interact with alpha-actinin, was not able to internalize when activated by agonist. Interestingly, A2ADeltaCTR did not show aggregation or clustering after agonist stimulation, a process readily occurring with the wild-type receptor. These findings suggest an alpha-actinin-dependent association between the actin cytoskeleton and A2AR trafficking.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2003;278;39;37545-52

  • SAP97 increases Kv1.5 currents through an indirect N-terminal mechanism.

    Eldstrom J, Choi WS, Steele DF and Fedida D

    Department of Physiology, University of British Columbia, 2146 Health Sciences Mall, V6T 1Z3, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

    The functional interaction of the voltage-gated potassium channel hKv1.5 with the PDZ domain containing protein SAP97 has been investigated. In marked contrast with the known dependence of SAP97-induced Kv1 potassium current down-regulation on the channel C-termini, SAP97 increased hKv1.5 current through an indirect interaction with the Kv1.5 N-terminus. Deletion of the Kv1.5 N-terminus eliminated the SAP97-mediated increase in potassium currents whereas deletion of the channel's C-terminal PDZ binding motif had no effect. In contrast with other Kv1-SAP97 interactions, no physical interaction could be detected in vivo or in vitro between the two proteins. The proteins did not co-localize in cardiac myocytes nor did they co-immunoprecipitate from transfected HEK cells. Yeast two-hybrid experiments also failed to detect any interaction between the two proteins, but in one experiment of six, Kv1.5 co-immunoprecipitated very inefficiently with SAP97 from rat ventricular myocytes. Thus, we conclude that the influence of SAP97 on Kv1.5 potassium current levels is dependent upon a novel regulatory mechanism.

    FEBS letters 2003;547;1-3;205-11

  • DISC1 (Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1) is a centrosome-associated protein that interacts with MAP1A, MIPT3, ATF4/5 and NUDEL: regulation and loss of interaction with mutation.

    Morris JA, Kandpal G, Ma L and Austin CP

    Department of Neuroscience, Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, PA 19486, USA.

    Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) is a novel gene associated with schizophrenia by multiple genetic studies. In order to determine how mutations in DISC1 might cause susceptibility to schizophrenia, we undertook a comprehensive study of the cellular biology of DISC1 in its full-length and disease-associated mutant forms. DISC1 interacts by yeast two-hybrid, mammalian two-hybrid, and co-immunoprecipitation assays with multiple proteins of the centrosome and cytoskeletal system, including MIPT3, MAP1A and NUDEL; proteins which localize receptors to membranes, including alpha-actinin2 and beta4-spectrin; and proteins which transduce signals from membrane receptors, including ATF4 and ATF5. Truncated mutant DISC1 fails to interact with ATF4, ATF5 or NUDEL. Deletion mapping demonstrated that DISC1 has distinct interaction domains: MAP1A interacts via its LC2 domain with the N-terminus of DISC1, whereas MIPT3 and NUDEL bind via their C-terminal domains to the central coiled-coil domain of DISC1, and ATF4/5 bind via their C-terminal domains to the C-terminus of DISC1. In its full-length form, DISC1 protein localizes to predominantly perinuclear punctate structures which extend into neurites in some cells; mutant truncated DISC1, by contrast, is seen in a diffuse pattern throughout the cytoplasm and abundantly in neurites. Both forms co-localize with the centrosomal complex, although truncated less abundantly than full-length DISC1. Although both full-length and mutant DISC1 are found in microtubule fractions, neither form of DISC1 appears to bind directly to microtubules, but rather do so in a MIPT3-dependent fashion that is stabilized by taxol. Based on these data, we propose that DISC1 is a multifunctional protein whose truncation contributes to schizophrenia susceptibility by disrupting intracellular transport, neurite architecture and/or neuronal migration, all of which have been hypothesized to be pathogenic in the schizophrenic brain.

    Human molecular genetics 2003;12;13;1591-608

  • ST7 is a novel low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) with a cytoplasmic tail that interacts with proteins related to signal transduction pathways.

    Battle MA, Maher VM and McCormick JJ

    Carcinogenesis Laboratory, Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1302, USA.

    In 1997, McCormick and co-workers identified a novel putative tumor suppressor gene, designated ST7, encoding a unique protein with transmembrane receptor characteristics [Qing et al. (1999) Oncogene 18, 335-342]. Using degenerate primers corresponding to the highly conserved region of the ligand-binding domains of members of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) superfamily, Ishii et al. [Genomics (1998) 51, 132-135] discovered a low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) that closely resembles ST7. Later, another LRP closely resembling ST7 and LRP3 was found (murine LRP9) [Sugiyama et al. (2000) Biochemistry 39, 15817-15825]. These results strongly suggested that ST7 was also a novel member of the low-density lipoprotein receptor superfamily. Proteins of this superfamily have been shown to function in endocytosis and/or signal transduction. To evaluate the relationship of ST7 to the LDLR superfamily proteins and to determine whether ST7 may function in endocytosis and/or signal transduction, we used proteomic tools to analyze the functional motifs present in the protein. Our results indicate that ST7 is a member of a subfamily of the LDLR superfamily and that its cytoplasmic domain contains several motifs implicated in endocytosis and signal transduction. Use of the yeast two-hybrid system to identify proteins that associate with ST7's cytoplasmic domain revealed that this domain interacts with three proteins involved in signal transduction and/or endocytosis, viz., receptor for activated protein C kinase 1 (RACK1), muscle integrin binding protein (MIBP), and SMAD anchor for receptor activation (SARA), suggesting that ST7, like other proteins in the LDLR superfamily, functions in these two pathways. Clearly, ST7 is an LRP, and therefore, it should now be referred to as LRP12.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA82885; NIA NIH HHS: AG11026

    Biochemistry 2003;42;24;7270-82

  • ADIP, a novel Afadin- and alpha-actinin-binding protein localized at cell-cell adherens junctions.

    Asada M, Irie K, Morimoto K, Yamada A, Ikeda W, Takeuchi M and Takai Y

    Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine/ Faculty of Medicine, Suita 565-0871, Japan.

    Afadin is an actin filament (F-actin)-binding protein that is associated with the cytoplasmic tail of nectin, a Ca(2+)-independent immunoglobulin-like cell-cell adhesion molecule. Nectin and afadin strictly localize at cell-cell adherens junctions (AJs) undercoated with F-actin bundles and are involved in the formation of AJs in cooperation with E-cadherin in epithelial cells. In epithelial cells of afadin (-/-) mice and (-/-) embryoid bodies, the proper organization of AJs is markedly impaired. However, the molecular mechanism of how the nectin-afadin system is associated with the E-cadherin-catenin system or functions in the formation of AJs has not yet been fully understood. Here we identified a novel afadin-binding protein, named ADIP (afadin DIL domain-interacting protein). ADIP consists of 615 amino acids with a calculated M(r) of 70,954 and has three coiled-coil domains. Northern and Western blot analyses in mouse tissues indicated that ADIP was widely distributed. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy revealed that ADIP strictly localized at cell-cell AJs undercoated with F-actin bundles in small intestine absorptive epithelial cells. This localization pattern was the same as those of afadin and nectin. ADIP was undetectable at cell-matrix AJs. ADIP furthermore bound alpha-actinin, an F-actin-bundling protein known to be indirectly associated with E-cadherin through its direct binding to alpha-catenin. These results indicate that ADIP is an afadin- and alpha-actinin-binding protein that localizes at cell-cell AJs and may have two functions. ADIP may connect the nectin-afadin and E-cadherin-catenin systems through alpha-actinin, and ADIP may be involved in organization of the actin cytoskeleton at AJs through afadin and alpha-actinin.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2003;278;6;4103-11

  • Comparative gene identification-94--a pivotal regulator of apoptosis.

    Heese K, Nagai Y and Sawada T

    BF Research Institute, Inc, c/o National Cardiovascular Center, 5-7-1 Fujishiro-dai, Suita, Osaka 565-0873, Japan. heesek@silver.ocn.ne.jp

    Apoptosis is an active form of cell death that is carried out by proteins that are designed to kill the cell during normal mammalian development and tissue homeostasis. Cell death by apoptosis comprises a sequence of events leading to the activation of caspases which execute the fragmentation of the cellular protein and DNA leading to disintegration of the cell. This physiological neuronal apoptosis allows the nervous system to eliminate excess neurons. In addition, apoptotic cell death occurs in a variety of neuronal degeneration such as Alzheimer's disease. Here we describe second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases/Diablo as a new interacting protein of CGI-94 (comparative gene identification-94) which itself is probably involved in degenerative processes of Alzheimer's disease. Our findings that CGI-94 interacts with second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases/Diablo, inhibits nerve growth factor-induced neurite outgrowth and that its neuronal expression leads to cell death point to its pivotal role in the control of cellular survival. In conclusion, CGI-94 appears to be involved in processes of neuronal degeneration.

    Neuroscience 2003;116;2;321-4

  • N-terminal PDZ-binding domain in Kv1 potassium channels.

    Eldstrom J, Doerksen KW, Steele DF and Fedida D

    Department of Physiology, University of British Columbia, 2146 Health Sciences Mall, V6T 1Z3, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

    We have investigated the interactions of prototypical PDZ domains with both the C- and N-termini of Kv1.5 and other Kv channels. A combination of in vitro binding and yeast two-hybrid assays unexpectedly showed that PDZ domains derived from PSD95 bind both the C- and N-termini of the channels with comparable avidity. From doubly transfected HEK293 cells, Kv1.5 was found to co-immunoprecipitate with the PDZ protein, irrespective of the presence of the canonical C-terminal PDZ-binding motif in Kv1.5. Imaging analysis of the same HEK cell lines demonstrated that co-localization of Kv1.5 with PSD95 at the cell surface is similarly independent of the canonical PDZ-binding motif. Deletion analysis localized the N-terminal PDZ-binding site in Kv1.5 to the T1 region of the channel. Co-expression of PSD95 with Kv1.5 N- and C-terminal deletions in HEK cells had contrasting effects on the magnitudes of the potassium currents across the membranes of these cells. These findings may have important implications for the regulation of channel expression and function by PDZ proteins like PSD95.

    FEBS letters 2002;531;3;529-37

  • Functional role of alpha-actinin, PI 3-kinase and MEK1/2 in insulin-like growth factor I receptor kinase regulated motility of human breast carcinoma cells.

    Guvakova MA, Adams JC and Boettiger D

    Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania, 3610 Hamilton Walk, 211 Johnson Pavilion, Philadelphia PA 19104, USA. guvakova@mail.med.upenn.edu

    Within epithelial tissue, cells are held together by specialized lateral junctions. At particular stages of development and in pathological processes such as metastasis, cells break down the intercellular junctions, separate from the epithelial sheet and migrate individually. Despite the importance of these processes, little is understood about the regulatory mechanisms of active cell separation. In view of the effects of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) on mammary gland development and cancer, we developed a model using MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in which the process of cell separation can be induced by IGF-I. The separation was enhanced in MCF-7 cells overexpressing the IGF-IR and blocked in the cells expressing a dead-kinase mutant of this receptor. Activation of the IGF-IR resulted in a rapid formation of motile actin microspikes at the regions of cell-cell contacts, disorganization of mature adherens junctions and the onset of cell migration. In cell separation, the signaling between the IGF-IR kinase and actin required phosphatidylinositol 3 (PI 3)-kinase-generated phospholipids but not MAP kinases and was mediated by alpha-actinin. The activity of MEK1/2 kinases was needed for consecutive cell migration. This work also defined a new function for alpha-actinin. Upon IGF-IR activation, green fluorescence protein (GFP)-labeled alpha-actinin concentrated at the base of actin microspikes. Deletion of the N-terminal actin-binding domain of alpha-actinin prevented this redistribution, indicating that this domain is necessary. Detection of the C-terminal tail of alpha-actinin reduced the number of microspikes, showing that alpha-actinin has a role in the development of microspikes and is not passively reorganized with filamentous actin. We suggest that the signaling pathway from the IGF-IR kinase through the PI-3 kinase to alpha-actinin participates in the rapid organization of actin into microspikes at the cell-cell junctions and leads to active cell separation, whereas signaling through ERK1/2 MAP kinases controls cell migration following cell separation.

    Journal of cell science 2002;115;Pt 21;4149-65

  • Spectrin-like repeats from dystrophin and alpha-actinin-2 are not functionally interchangeable.

    Harper SQ, Crawford RW, DelloRusso C and Chamberlain JS

    Department of Neurology, University of Washington School of Medicine, HSB Room K243, Box 357720, Seattle, WA 98195-7720, USA.

    Mutations in the dystrophin gene result in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Dystrophin is a multidomain protein that functions to stabilize the sarcolemmal membrane during muscle contraction. The central rod domain has been proposed to act as a shock absorber, as a force transducer or as a spacer separating important N- and C-terminal domains that interact with actin and the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC). Structure/function studies demonstrated that deletion of large portions of the rod domain can result in the production of smaller, yet highly functional, dystrophin proteins. In a dramatic example, a 'micro-dystrophin' transgene containing only four dystrophin spectrin-like repeats resulted in complete correction of most of the symptoms associated with dystrophy in the mdx mouse model for DMD. Dystrophin shares considerable homology with the multidomain, actin-crosslinking protein alpha-actinin. To explore the hypothesis that the dystrophin rod domain acts as a spacer region, a chimeric micro-dystrophin transgene containing the four-repeat rod domain of alpha-actinin-2 was expressed in mdx mice. This chimeric transgene was incapable of correcting the morphological pathology of the mdx mouse, but still functioned to assemble the DGC at the membrane and provided some protection from contraction-induced injury. These data demonstrated that different spectrin-like repeats are not equivalent, and reinforced the suggestion that the dystrophin rod domain is not merely a spacer but likely contributes an important mechanical role to overall dystrophin function.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: AR40864

    Human molecular genetics 2002;11;16;1807-15

  • Screening the proteins that interact with calpain in a human heart cDNA library using a yeast two-hybrid system.

    Jiang LQ, Wen SJ, Wang HY and Chen LY

    Division of Biochemistry, Cardiovascular Institute and Fu Wai Hospital, Peking Union Medical College and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, PR China.

    Calpain, a cytosolic cysteine protease, requires calcium ions for activity. It has been reported that calpain is involved in the degradation of myofibrillar and neurofilament proteins, and the activation of phosphorylase b kinase and protein kinase C. More recently, calpain was shown to participate in apoptosis. In order to understand the calpain-related signal transduction pathway and its changes during hypertrophy, and especially in hypertension, we screened a human heart cDNA library to find proteins that interact with calpain. 1) Using PCR we amplified the full-length, domain II, domain III and domain IV cDNA of calpain (calcium-activated neutral protease, CANP) I large subunit respectively. 2) Then the fragments were cloned into pGBKT7 vector, resulting in 4 bait expression constructs (pGBKT7-CANP, pGBKT7-CANP II, pGBKT7-CANP III, and pG BKT7-CANP IV). 3) After 4 bait vectors were transformed into AH109 by the lithium acetate-mediated method, AH109/pGBKT7-CANP, AH109/pGBKT7-CANP II, AH109/pGBKT7-CANP III, and AH109/pGBKT7-CANP IV were obtained, respectively. 4) After the human heart cDNA library was sequentially transformed into AH109/ pGBKT7-CANP, 1000-1200 positive clones were grown on SD/Trp-Leu-Ade-His-. Only 150 positive clones were obtained through a colony-lift filter assay to detect beta-galactosidase activity. 5) Total 105 clones among above 150 positive clones were eliminated through that the duplicate, pseudopositive and autoactive detection, respectively. 6) Finally, sequencing eliminated clones with a wrong open reading frame (ORF). Eight clones were cancelled with wrong ORF. The remaining 37 positive clones were analyzed using BLAST software available on the Internet and classified as follows: 1. enzymes or proteins related to signal transduction in the cell; 2. contraction proteins 3. matrix proteins 4. unknown proteins. 7) In order to determine which domain of the calpain I large subunit was involved in the interaction with these real clones, the 37 clones were transformed into AH109/pGBKT7-CANP II, AH109/pGBKT7-CANP III or AH109/pGBKT7-CANP IV. Among these 37 clones, 29 clones could interact with domain II, 5 clones could interact with domain III and 6 clones could interact with domain IV. Thus, we successfully constructed 4 bait expression vectors, pGBKT7-CANP, pGBKT7-CANP II, pGBKT7-CANP III and pGBKT7-CANP IV, and obtained 37 real positive clones that interacted with the calpain I large subunit by screening a human heart cDNA library using pGBKT7-CANP as bait. Among them, 29 clones could interact with domain II of the calpain I large subunit, where the active site of calpain is located. Additional studies will be needed to clarify the calpain-related signal transduction pathway in greater detail.

    Hypertension research : official journal of the Japanese Society of Hypertension 2002;25;4;647-52

  • Utrophin binds laterally along actin filaments and can couple costameric actin with sarcolemma when overexpressed in dystrophin-deficient muscle.

    Rybakova IN, Patel JR, Davies KE, Yurchenco PD and Ervasti JM

    Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison 53706, USA.

    Dystrophin is widely thought to mechanically link the cortical cytoskeleton with the muscle sarcolemma. Although the dystrophin homolog utrophin can functionally compensate for dystrophin in mice, recent studies question whether utrophin can bind laterally along actin filaments and anchor filaments to the sarcolemma. Herein, we have expressed full-length recombinant utrophin and show that the purified protein is fully soluble with a native molecular weight and molecular dimensions indicative of monomers. We demonstrate that like dystrophin, utrophin can form an extensive lateral association with actin filaments and protect actin filaments from depolymerization in vitro. However, utrophin binds laterally along actin filaments through contribution of acidic spectrin-like repeats rather than the cluster of basic repeats used by dystrophin. We also show that the defective linkage between costameric actin filaments and the sarcolemma in dystrophin-deficient mdx muscle is rescued by overexpression of utrophin. Our results demonstrate that utrophin and dystrophin are functionally interchangeable actin binding proteins, but that the molecular epitopes important for filament binding differ between the two proteins. More generally, our results raise the possibility that spectrin-like repeats may enable some members of the plakin family of cytolinkers to laterally bind and stabilize actin filaments.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: AR01985, AR42423, R01 AR042423

    Molecular biology of the cell 2002;13;5;1512-21

  • Calsarcin-3, a novel skeletal muscle-specific member of the calsarcin family, interacts with multiple Z-disc proteins.

    Frey N and Olson EN

    Department of Molecular Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9148, USA.

    The Z-disc is a highly specialized multiprotein complex of striated muscles that serves as the interface of the sarcomere and the cytoskeleton. In addition to its role in muscle contraction, its juxtaposition to the plasma membrane suggests additional functions of the Z-disc in sensing and transmitting external and internal signals. Recently, we described two novel striated muscle-specific proteins, calsarcin-1 and calsarcin-2, that bind alpha-actinin on the Z-disc and serve as intracellular binding proteins for calcineurin, a calcium/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase shown to be integral in cardiac hypertrophy as well as skeletal muscle differentiation and fiber-type specification. Here, we describe an additional member of the calsarcin family, calsarcin-3, which is expressed specifically in skeletal muscle and is enriched in fast-twitch muscle fibers. Like calsarcin-1 and calsarcin-2, calsarcin-3 interacts with calcineurin, and the Z-disc proteins alpha-actinin, gamma-filamin, and telethonin. In addition, we show that calsarcins interact with the PDZ-LIM domain protein ZASP/Cypher/Oracle, which also localizes to the Z-disc. Calsarcins represent a novel family of sarcomeric proteins that serve as focal points for the interactions of an array of proteins involved in Z-disc structure and signal transduction in striated muscle.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2002;277;16;13998-4004

  • Titin mutations as the molecular basis for dilated cardiomyopathy.

    Itoh-Satoh M, Hayashi T, Nishi H, Koga Y, Arimura T, Koyanagi T, Takahashi M, Hohda S, Ueda K, Nouchi T, Hiroe M, Marumo F, Imaizumi T, Yasunami M and Kimura A

    Department of Molecular Pathogenesis, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, 2-3-10 Kandasurugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0062, Japan.

    Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a heterogeneous cardiac disease characterized by ventricular dilatation and systolic dysfunction. Recent genetic studies have revealed that mutations in genes for cardiac sarcomere components lead to DCM. The cardiac sarcomere consists of thick and thin filaments and a giant protein, titin. Because one of the loci of familial DCM was mapped to the region of the titin gene, we searched for titin mutations in the patients and identified four possible disease-associated mutations. Two mutations, Val54Met and Ala743Val, were found in the Z-line region of titin and decreased binding affinities of titin to Z-line proteins T-cap/telethonin and alpha-actinin, respectively, in yeast two-hybrid assays. The other two mutations were found in the cardiac-specific N2-B region of titin and one of them was a nonsense mutation, Glu4053ter, presumably encoding for a truncated nonfunctional molecule. These observations suggest that titin mutations may cause DCM in a subset of the patients.

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2002;291;2;385-93

  • Raver1, a dual compartment protein, is a ligand for PTB/hnRNPI and microfilament attachment proteins.

    Hüttelmaier S, Illenberger S, Grosheva I, Rüdiger M, Singer RH and Jockusch BM

    Cell Biology, Zoological Institute, Technical University of Braunschweig, D-38092 Braunschweig, Germany.

    By screening a yeast two-hybrid library with COOH-terminal fragments of vinculin/metavinculin as the bait, we identified a new protein termed raver1. Raver1 is an 80-kD multidomain protein and widely expressed but to varying amounts in different cell lines. In situ and in vitro, raver1 forms complexes with the microfilament-associated proteins vinculin, metavinculin, and alpha-actinin and colocalizes with vinculin/metavinculin and alpha-actinin at microfilament attachment sites, such as cell-cell and cell matrix contacts of epithelial cells and fibroblasts, respectively, and in costameres of skeletal muscle. The NH2-terminal part of raver1 contains three RNA recognition motifs with homology to members of the heterogeneous nuclear RNP (hnRNP) family. Raver1 colocalizes with polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB)/hnRNPI, a protein involved in RNA splicing of microfilament proteins, in the perinucleolar compartment and forms complexes with PTB/hnRNPI. Hence, raver1 is a dual compartment protein, which is consistent with the presence of nuclear location signal and nuclear export sequence motifs in its sequence. During muscle differentiation, raver1 migrates from the nucleus to the costamere. We propose that raver1 may coordinate RNA processing and targeting as required for microfilament anchoring in specific adhesion sites.

    The Journal of cell biology 2001;155;5;775-86

  • Differential expression of the actin-binding proteins, alpha-actinin-2 and -3, in different species: implications for the evolution of functional redundancy.

    Mills M, Yang N, Weinberger R, Vander Woude DL, Beggs AH, Easteal S and North K

    Neurogenetics Research Unit, Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia.

    The alpha-actinins are a multigene family of four actin-binding proteins related to dystrophin. The two skeletal muscle isoforms of alpha-actinin (ACTN2 and ACTN3) are major structural components of the Z-line involved in anchoring the actin-containing thin filaments. In humans, ACTN2 is expressed in all muscle fibres, while ACTN3 expression is restricted to a subset of type 2 fibres. We have recently demonstrated that alpha-actinin-3 is absent in approximately 18% of individuals in a range of human populations, and that homozygosity for a premature stop codon (577X) accounts for most cases of true alpha-actinin-3 deficiency. Absence of alpha-actinin-3 is not associated with an obvious disease phenotype, raising the possibility that ACTN3 is functionally redundant in humans, and that alpha-actinin-2 is able to compensate for alpha-actinin-3 deficiency. We now present data concerning the expression of ACTN3 in other species. Genotyping of non-human primates indicates that the 577X null mutation has likely arisen in humans. The mouse genome contains four orthologues which all map to evolutionarily conserved syntenic regions for the four human genes. Murine Actn2 and Actn3 are differentially expressed, spatially and temporally, during embryonic development and, in contrast to humans, alpha-actinin-2 expression does not completely overlap alpha-actinin-3 in postnatal skeletal muscle, suggesting independent function. Furthermore, sequence comparison of human, mouse and chicken alpha-actinin genes demonstrates that ACTN3 has been conserved over a long period of evolutionary time, implying a constraint on evolutionary rate imposed by continued function of the gene. These observations provide a real framework in which to test theoretical models of genetic redundancy as they apply to human populations. In addition we highlight the need for caution in making conclusions about gene function from the phenotypic consequences of loss-of-function mutations in animal knockout models.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: K02 AR02026, R01 AR44345

    Human molecular genetics 2001;10;13;1335-46

  • A discrete amino terminal domain of Kv1.5 and Kv1.4 potassium channels interacts with the spectrin repeats of alpha-actinin-2.

    Cukovic D, Lu GW, Wible B, Steele DF and Fedida D

    Department of Physiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

    The interaction between the amino terminus of Kv1-type potassium channels and alpha-actinin-2 has been investigated. Using a combination of yeast two-hybrid analysis and in vitro binding assays, alpha-actinin-2 was found to bind to the N-termini of both Kv1.4 and Kv1.5 but not to the equivalent segments of Kv1.1, Kv1.2 or Kv1.3. Deletion analysis in the in vitro binding assays delineated the actinin binding region of Kv1.5 to between amino acids 73 and 148 of the channel. The Kv1.5 binding sites in alpha-actinin-2 were found to lie within actinin's internal spectrin repeats. Unlike the reported interaction between actinin and the NMDA receptor, calmodulin was found to have no effect on actinin binding to Kv1.5.

    FEBS letters 2001;498;1;87-92

  • Telethonin and other new proteins of the Z-disc of skeletal muscle.

    Faulkner G, Lanfranchi G and Valle G

    International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Padriciano, Trieste, Italy. faulkner@icgeb.trieste.it

    This brief review outlines some of the most relevant proteins of the Z-disc and the complex network of interactions that link them together in a stable structure. Apart from the well-known Z-disc proteins such as actin, cap-Z, titin, nebulin, and alpha-actinin 2, several other Z-disc proteins have been recently discovered, including telethonin and myotilin that have been linked to limb girdle muscular dystrophies. Some proteins including ALP and ZASP have known interaction domains (PDZ and LIM motifs), whereas others like FATZ have no canonical interaction domains, although they are known to bind several proteins. Another new Z-disc protein is gamma-filamin that could provide a link between the plasma membrane and myofibrils because it binds directly to gamma- and delta-sarcoglycans and indirectly to alpha-actinin 2 via FATZ and myotilin. A greater knowledge of Z-disc proteins and their interactions is essential for understanding their role in the structure and function of muscle.

    IUBMB life 2001;51;5;275-82

  • Myopalladin, a novel 145-kilodalton sarcomeric protein with multiple roles in Z-disc and I-band protein assemblies.

    Bang ML, Mudry RE, McElhinny AS, Trombitás K, Geach AJ, Yamasaki R, Sorimachi H, Granzier H, Gregorio CC and Labeit S

    European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg 69117, Germany.

    We describe here a novel sarcomeric 145-kD protein, myopalladin, which tethers together the COOH-terminal Src homology 3 domains of nebulin and nebulette with the EF hand motifs of alpha-actinin in vertebrate Z-lines. Myopalladin's nebulin/nebulette and alpha-actinin-binding sites are contained in two distinct regions within its COOH-terminal 90-kD domain. Both sites are highly homologous with those found in palladin, a protein described recently required for actin cytoskeletal assembly (Parast, M.M., and C.A. Otey. 2000. J. Cell Biol. 150:643-656). This suggests that palladin and myopalladin may have conserved roles in stress fiber and Z-line assembly. The NH(2)-terminal region of myopalladin specifically binds to the cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP), a nuclear protein involved in control of muscle gene expression. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy studies revealed that myopalladin also colocalized with CARP in the central I-band of striated muscle sarcomeres. Overexpression of myopalladin's NH(2)-terminal CARP-binding region in live cardiac myocytes resulted in severe disruption of all sarcomeric components studied, suggesting that the myopalladin-CARP complex in the central I-band may have an important regulatory role in maintaining sarcomeric integrity. Our data also suggest that myopalladin may link regulatory mechanisms involved in Z-line structure (via alpha-actinin and nebulin/nebulette) to those involved in muscle gene expression (via CARP).

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: HL03985, HL57461, HL61497, HL62881, R01 HL057461, R01 HL061497, R01 HL062881, R29 HL057461, T32 HL007249

    The Journal of cell biology 2001;153;2;413-27

  • Myozenin: an alpha-actinin- and gamma-filamin-binding protein of skeletal muscle Z lines.

    Takada F, Vander Woude DL, Tong HQ, Thompson TG, Watkins SC, Kunkel LM and Beggs AH

    Division of Genetics, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    To better understand the structure and function of Z lines, we used sarcomeric isoforms of alpha-actinin and gamma-filamin to screen a human skeletal muscle cDNA library for interacting proteins by using the yeast two-hybrid system. Here we describe myozenin (MYOZ), an alpha-actinin- and gamma-filamin-binding Z line protein expressed predominantly in skeletal muscle. Myozenin is predicted to be a 32-kDa, globular protein with a central glycine-rich domain flanked by alpha-helical regions with no strong homologies to any known genes. The MYOZ gene has six exons and maps to human chromosome 10q22.1-q22.2. Northern blot analysis demonstrated that this transcript is expressed primarily in skeletal muscle with significantly lower levels of expression in several other tissues. Antimyozenin antisera stain skeletal muscle in a sarcomeric pattern indistinguishable from that seen by using antibodies for alpha-actinin, and immunogold electron microscopy confirms localization specifically to Z lines. Thus, myozenin is a skeletal muscle Z line protein that may be a good candidate gene for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy or other neuromuscular disorders.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: K02 AR02026, R01 AR044345, R01 AR44345; NICHD NIH HHS: P30 HD018655, P30 HD18655

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2001;98;4;1595-600

  • FATZ, a filamin-, actinin-, and telethonin-binding protein of the Z-disc of skeletal muscle.

    Faulkner G, Pallavicini A, Comelli A, Salamon M, Bortoletto G, Ievolella C, Trevisan S, Kojic' S, Dalla Vecchia F, Laveder P, Valle G and Lanfranchi G

    International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Padriciano 99, I-34012 Trieste, Padova, Italy.

    We report the identification and characterization of a novel 32-kDa protein expressed in skeletal muscle and located in the Z-disc of the sarcomere. We found that this protein binds to three other Z-disc proteins; therefore, we have named it FATZ, gamma-filamin/ABP-L, alpha-actinin and telethonin binding protein of the Z-disc. From yeast two-hybrid experiments we are able to show that the SR3-SR4 domains of alpha-actinin 2 are required to bind the COOH-terminal region of the FATZ as does gamma-filamin/ABP-L. Furthermore, by using a glutathione S-transferase overlay assay we find that FATZ also binds telethonin. The level of FATZ protein in muscle cells increases during differentiation, being clearly detectable before the onset of myosin. Although FATZ has no known interaction domains, it would appear to be involved in a complex network of interactions with other Z-band components. On the basis of the information known about its binding partners, we could envisage a central role for FATZ in the myofibrillogenesis. After screening our muscle expressed sequence tag data base and the public expressed sequence tag data bases, we were able to assemble two other muscle transcripts that show a high level of identity with FATZ in two different domains. Therefore, FATZ may be the first member of a small family of novel muscle proteins.

    Funded by: Telethon: 1023, B.57

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2000;275;52;41234-42

  • Calsarcins, a novel family of sarcomeric calcineurin-binding proteins.

    Frey N, Richardson JA and Olson EN

    Departments of Molecular Biology and Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 6000 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390-9148, USA.

    The calcium- and calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase calcineurin has been implicated in the transduction of signals that control the hypertrophy of cardiac muscle and slow fiber gene expression in skeletal muscle. To identify proteins that mediate the effects of calcineurin on striated muscles, we used the calcineurin catalytic subunit in a two-hybrid screen for cardiac calcineurin-interacting proteins. From this screen, we discovered a member of a novel family of calcineurin-interacting proteins, termed calsarcins, which tether calcineurin to alpha-actinin at the z-line of the sarcomere of cardiac and skeletal muscle cells. Calsarcin-1 and calsarcin-2 are expressed in developing cardiac and skeletal muscle during embryogenesis, but calsarcin-1 is expressed specifically in adult cardiac and slow-twitch skeletal muscle, whereas calsarcin-2 is restricted to fast skeletal muscle. Calsarcins represent a novel family of sarcomeric proteins that link calcineurin with the contractile apparatus, thereby potentially coupling muscle activity to calcineurin activation.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2000;97;26;14632-7

  • Characterization of palladin, a novel protein localized to stress fibers and cell adhesions.

    Parast MM and Otey CA

    Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.

    Here, we describe the identification of a novel phosphoprotein named palladin, which colocalizes with alpha-actinin in the stress fibers, focal adhesions, cell-cell junctions, and embryonic Z-lines. Palladin is expressed as a 90-92-kD doublet in fibroblasts and coimmunoprecipitates in a complex with alpha-actinin in fibroblast lysates. A cDNA encoding palladin was isolated by screening a mouse embryo library with mAbs. Palladin has a proline-rich region in the NH(2)-terminal half of the molecule and three tandem Ig C2 domains in the COOH-terminal half. In Northern and Western blots of chick and mouse tissues, multiple isoforms of palladin were detected. Palladin expression is ubiquitous in embryonic tissues, and is downregulated in certain adult tissues in the mouse. To probe the function of palladin in cultured cells, the Rcho-1 trophoblast model was used. Palladin expression was observed to increase in Rcho-1 cells when they began to assemble stress fibers. Antisense constructs were used to attenuate expression of palladin in Rcho-1 cells and fibroblasts, and disruption of the cytoskeleton was observed in both cell types. At longer times after antisense treatment, fibroblasts became fully rounded. These results suggest that palladin is required for the normal organization of the actin cytoskeleton and focal adhesions.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: HD34807, R01 HD034807; NIGMS NIH HHS: GM29860, GM50974, R01 GM029860

    The Journal of cell biology 2000;150;3;643-56

  • Interaction of hCLIM1, an enigma family protein, with alpha-actinin 2.

    Kotaka M, Kostin S, Ngai S, Chan K, Lau Y, Lee SM, Li Hy, Ng EK, Schaper J, Tsui SK, Fung Kp, Lee Cy and Waye MM

    Department of Biochemistry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China.

    Enigma proteins are proteins that possess a PDZ domain at the amino terminal and one to three LIM domains at the carboxyl terminal. They are cytoplasmic proteins that are involved with the cytoskeleton and signal transduction pathway. By virtue of the two protein interacting domains, they are capable of protein-protein interactions. Here we report a study on a human Enigma protein hCLIM1, in particular. Our study describes the interaction of the human 36 kDa carboxyl terminal LIM domain protein (hCLIM1), the human homologue of CLP36 in rat, with alpha-actinin 2, the skeletal muscle isoform of alpha-actinin. hCLIM1 protein was shown to interact with alpha-actinin 2 by yeast two-hybrid screening and immunochemical analyses. Yeast two-hybrid analyses also demonstrated that the LIM domain of hCLIM1 binds to the EF-hand region of alpha-actinin 2, defining a new mode of LIM domain interactions. Immunofluorescent study demonstrates that hCLIM1 colocalizes with alpha-actinin at the Z-disks in human myocardium. Taken together, our experimental results suggest that hCLIM1is a novel cytoskeletal protein and may act as an adapter that brings other proteins to the cytoskeleton.

    Journal of cellular biochemistry 2000;78;4;558-65

  • alpha-actinin-2 couples to cardiac Kv1.5 channels, regulating current density and channel localization in HEK cells.

    Maruoka ND, Steele DF, Au BP, Dan P, Zhang X, Moore ED and Fedida D

    Department of Physiology, University of British Columbia, 2146 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

    Voltage-gated K(+) (Kv) channels are particularly important in the physiology of excitable cells in the heart and the brain. PSD-95 is known to cluster Shaker channels and NMDA receptors and the latter is known to couple through alpha-actinin-2 to the post-synaptic cytoskeleton [Wyszynski et al. (1997) Nature 385, 439-442], but the mechanisms by which Kv channels are linked to the actin cytoskeleton and clustered at specific sites in the heart are unknown. Here we provide evidence that Kv1.5 channels, widely expressed in the cardiovascular system, bind with alpha-actinin-2. Human Kv1.5 interacts via its N-terminus/core region and can be immunoprecipitated with alpha-actinin-2 both after in vitro translation and from HEK cells expressing both proteins. The ion channels and alpha-actinin-2 co-localize at the membrane in HEK cells, where disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and antisense constructs to alpha-actinin-2 modulate the ion and gating current density.

    FEBS letters 2000;473;2;188-94

  • Binding of ADAM12, a marker of skeletal muscle regeneration, to the muscle-specific actin-binding protein, alpha -actinin-2, is required for myoblast fusion.

    Galliano MF, Huet C, Frygelius J, Polgren A, Wewer UM and Engvall E

    Burnham Institute, La Jolla Cancer Research Center, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.

    ADAM12 belongs to the transmembrane metalloprotease ADAM ("a disintegrin and metalloprotease") family. ADAM12 has been implicated in muscle cell differentiation and fusion, but its precise function remains unknown. Here, we show that ADAM12 is dramatically up-regulated in regenerated, newly formed fibers in vivo. In C2C12 cells, ADAM12 is expressed at low levels in undifferentiated myoblasts and is transiently up-regulated at the onset of differentiation when myoblasts fuse into multinucleated myotubes, whereas other ADAMs, such as ADAMs 9, 10, 15, 17, and 19, are expressed at all stages of differentiation. Using the yeast two-hybrid screen, we found that the muscle-specific alpha-actinin-2 strongly binds to the cytoplasmic tail of ADAM12. In vitro binding assays with GST fusion proteins confirmed the specific interaction. The major binding site for alpha-actinin-2 was mapped to a short sequence in the membrane-proximal region of ADAM12 cytoplasmic tail; a second binding site was identified in the membrane-distal region. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments confirm the in vivo association of ADAM12 cytoplasmic domain with alpha-actinin-2. Overexpression of the entire cytosolic ADAM12 tail acted in a dominant negative fashion by inhibiting fusion of C2C12 cells, whereas expression of a cytosolic ADAM12 lacking the major alpha-actinin-2 binding site had no effect on cell fusion. Our results suggest that interaction of ADAM12 with alpha-actinin-2 is important for ADAM12 function.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 2000;275;18;13933-9

  • The human non-muscle alpha-actinin protein encoded by the ACTN4 gene suppresses tumorigenicity of human neuroblastoma cells.

    Nikolopoulos SN, Spengler BA, Kisselbach K, Evans AE, Biedler JL and Ross RA

    Department of Biological Sciences, Fordham University, Bronx, New York, NY 10458 USA.

    alpha-Actinins are actin-binding proteins important in organization of the cytoskeleton and in cell adhesion. We have cloned and characterized a cDNA from human neuroblastoma cell variants which encodes the second non-muscle alpha-actinin isoform designated ACTN4 (actinin-4). mRNA encoded by the ACTN4 gene, mapped to chromosome 4, is abundant in non-tumorigenic, substrate-adherent human neuroblastoma cell variants but absent or only weakly expressed in malignant, poorly substrate-adherent neuroblasts. It is also present in many adherent tumor cell lines of diverse tissue origins. Cell lines typically co-express ACTN4 and ACTN1, a second non-muscle alpha-actinin gene. Expression is correlated with substrate adhesivity. Analysis of deduced amino acid sequences suggests that the two isoforms may differ in function and in regulation by calcium. Moreover, ACTN4 exhibits tumor suppressor activity. Stable clones containing increased levels of alpha-actinin, isolated from highly malignant neuroblastoma stem cells [BE(2)-C] after transfection with a full-length ACTN4 cDNA, show decreased anchorage-independent growth ability, loss of tumorigenicity in nude mice, and decreased expression of the N-myc proto-oncogene.

    Oncogene 2000;19;3;380-6

  • Fine mapping and genomic structure of ACTN2, the human gene coding for the sarcomeric isoform of alpha-actinin-2, expressed in skeletal and cardiac muscle.

    Tiso N, Majetti M, Stanchi F, Rampazzo A, Zimbello R, Nava A and Danieli GA

    Biology Department, University of Padova, Padua, Italy.

    The present paper reports on the fine mapping of the ACTN2 gene and on the reconstruction of its genomic structure. By radiation hybrid mapping, the gene was located about 912 cR from the 1p-telomere. ACTN2 was placed between the marker WI-9317 (alias D1S2421) and the marker AFMA045ZC5, within the chromosomal band 1q43. The gene was detected in YAC 955 c 12. This YAC was used as template DNA for long-distance and Alu-PCR, using a set of putative exonic primers, designed on the cDNA sequence of alpha-actinin-2, in order to characterize the ACTN2 intron-exon boundaries. The entire genomic structure of the gene was reconstructed. The ACTN2 gene contained 21 exons, in a segment spanning about 40 kb of genomic DNA. Only the proximal part of the gene shows a high conservation through evolution, whereas in the remaining part a divergence from the genomic organization of C. elegans and D. melanogaster was noticed. A series of intronic primers was specifically designed and produced, to amplify all the exons of ACTN2, directly from genomic DNA. This will enable mutation screening in patients affected with hereditary diseases linked to the marker CA4F/R, a polymorphism in the last intron of the alpha-actinin-2 gene.

    Funded by: Telethon: E.0743

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 1999;265;1;256-9

  • ZASP: a new Z-band alternatively spliced PDZ-motif protein.

    Faulkner G, Pallavicini A, Formentin E, Comelli A, Ievolella C, Trevisan S, Bortoletto G, Scannapieco P, Salamon M, Mouly V, Valle G and Lanfranchi G

    International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, I-34012 Trieste, Italy. faulkner@icgeb.treste.it

    PDZ motifs are modular protein-protein interaction domains, consisting of 80-120 amino acid residues, whose function appears to be the direction of intracellular proteins to multiprotein complexes. In skeletal muscle, there are a few known PDZ-domain proteins, which include neuronal nitric oxide synthase and syntrophin, both of which are components of the dystrophin complex, and actinin-associated LIM protein, which binds to the spectrin-like repeats of alpha-actinin-2. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a new skeletal muscle protein containing a PDZ domain that binds to the COOH-terminal region of alpha-actinin-2. This novel 31-kD protein is specifically expressed in heart and skeletal muscle. Using antibodies produced to a fragment of the protein, we can show its location in the sarcomere at the level of the Z-band by immunoelectron microscopy. At least two proteins, 32 kD and 78 kD, can be detected by Western blot analysis of both heart and skeletal muscle, suggesting the existence of alternative forms of the protein. In fact, several forms were found that appear to be the result of alternative splicing. The transcript coding for this Z-band alternatively spliced PDZ motif (ZASP) protein maps on chromosome 10q22.3-10q23.2, near the locus for infantile-onset spinocerebellar ataxia.

    Funded by: Telethon: 1023

    The Journal of cell biology 1999;146;2;465-75

  • Cypher, a striated muscle-restricted PDZ and LIM domain-containing protein, binds to alpha-actinin-2 and protein kinase C.

    Zhou Q, Ruiz-Lozano P, Martone ME and Chen J

    Department of Medicine, UCSD-Salk Program in Molecular Medicine, University of California at San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla, California 92093-0613, USA.

    We have cloned and characterized a novel striated muscle-restricted protein (Cypher) that has two mRNA splice variants, designated Cypher1 and Cypher2. Both proteins contain an amino-terminal PDZ domain. Cypher1, but not Cypher2, contains three carboxyl-terminal LIM domains and an amino acid repeat sequence that exhibits homology to a repeat sequence found in the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II. cypher1 and cypher2 mRNAs exhibited identical expression patterns. Both are exclusively expressed in cardiac and striated muscle in embryonic and adult stages. By biochemical assays, we have demonstrated that Cypher1 and Cypher2 bind to alpha-actinin-2 via their PDZ domains. This interaction has been further confirmed by immunohistochemical studies that demonstrated co-localization of Cypher and alpha-actinin at the Z-lines of cardiac muscle. We have also found that Cypher1 binds to protein kinase C through its LIM domains. Phosphorylation of Cypher by protein kinase C has demonstrated the functional significance of this interaction. Together, our data suggest that Cypher1 may function as an adaptor in striated muscle to couple protein kinase C-mediated signaling, via its LIM domains, to the cytoskeleton (alpha-actinin-2) through its PDZ domain.

    Funded by: NCRR NIH HHS: RR04050

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1999;274;28;19807-13

  • Ras-specific exchange factor GRF: oligomerization through its Dbl homology domain and calcium-dependent activation of Raf.

    Anborgh PH, Qian X, Papageorge AG, Vass WC, DeClue JE and Lowy DR

    Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

    The full-length versions of the Ras-specific exchange factors Ras-GRF1 (GRF1) and Ras-GRF2 (GRF2), which are expressed in brain and a restricted number of other organs, possess an ionomycin-dependent activation of Erk mitogen-activated protein kinase activity in 293T cells (C. L. Farnsworth et al., Nature 376:524-527, 1995; N. P. Fam et al., Mol. Cell. Biol. 17:1396-1406, 1996). Each GRF protein contains a Dbl homology (DH) domain. A yeast two-hybrid screen was used to identify polypeptides that associate with the DH domain of GRF1. In this screen, a positive cDNA clone from a human brain cDNA library was isolated which consisted of the GRF2 DH domain and its adjacent ilimaquinone domain. Deletion analysis verified that the two-hybrid interaction required only the DH domains, and mutation of Leu-263 to Gln (L263Q) in the N terminus of the GRF1 DH domain abolished the two-hybrid interaction, while a cluster of more C-terminally located mutations in the DH domain did not eliminate the interaction. Oligomers between GRF1 and GRF2 were detected in a rat brain extract, and forced expression of GRF1 and GRF2 in cultured mammalian cells formed homo- and hetero-oligomers. Introduction of the L263Q mutation in GRF1 led to a protein that was deficient in oligomer formation, while GRF1 containing the DH cluster mutations formed homo-oligomers with an efficiency similar to that of wild type. Compared to wild-type GRF1, the focus-forming activity on NIH 3T3 cells of the GRF1 DH cluster mutant was reduced, while the L263Q mutant was inactive. Both mutants were impaired in their ability to mediate ionomycin-dependent Erk activity in 293T cells. In the absence of ionomycin, 293T cells expressing wild-type GRF1 contained much higher levels of Ras-GTP than control cells; the increase in Erk activity induced by ionomycin in the GRF1-expressing cells also induced a concomitant increase in Raf kinase activity, but without a further increase in the level Ras-GTP. We conclude that GRF1 and GRF2 can form homo- and hetero-oligomers via their DH domains, that mutational inactivation of oligomer formation by GRF1 is associated with impaired biological and signaling activities, and that in 293T cells GRF1 mediates at least two pathways for Raf activation: one a constitutive signal that is mainly Ras-dependent, and one an ionomycin-induced signal that cooperates with the constitutive signal without further augmenting the level of GTP-Ras.

    Molecular and cellular biology 1999;19;7;4611-22

  • Interactions of calmodulin and alpha-actinin with the NR1 subunit modulate Ca2+-dependent inactivation of NMDA receptors.

    Krupp JJ, Vissel B, Thomas CG, Heinemann SF and Westbrook GL

    Vollum Institute, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA.

    Glutamate receptors are associated with various regulatory and cytoskeletal proteins. However, an understanding of the functional significance of these interactions is still rudimentary. Studies in hippocampal neurons suggest that such interactions may be involved in calcium-induced reduction in the open probability of NMDA receptors (inactivation). Thus we examined the role of the intracellular domains of the NR1 subunit and two of its binding partners, calmodulin and alpha-actinin, on this process using NR1/NR2A heteromers expressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. The presence of the first 30 residues of the intracellular C terminus of NR1 (C0 domain) was required for inactivation. Mutations in the last five residues of C0 reduced inactivation and produced parallel shifts in binding of alpha-actinin and Ca2+/calmodulin to the respective C0-derived peptides. Although calmodulin reduced channel activity in excised patches, calmodulin inhibitors did not block inactivation in whole-cell recording, suggesting that inactivation in the intact cell is more complex than binding of calmodulin to C0. Overexpression of putative Ca2+-insensitive, but not Ca2+-sensitive, forms of alpha-actinin reduced inactivation, an effect that was overcome by inclusion of calmodulin in the whole-cell pipette. The C0 domain also directly affects channel gating because NR1 subunits with truncated C0 domains that lacked calmodulin or alpha-actinin binding sites had a low open probability. We propose that inactivation can occur after C0 dissociates from alpha-actinin by two distinct but converging calcium-dependent processes: competitive displacement of alpha-actinin by calmodulin and reduction in the affinity of alpha-actinin for C0 after binding of calcium to alpha-actinin.

    Funded by: NIMH NIH HHS: MH46613; NINDS NIH HHS: NS28709

    The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 1999;19;4;1165-78

  • The NH2 terminus of titin spans the Z-disc: its interaction with a novel 19-kD ligand (T-cap) is required for sarcomeric integrity.

    Gregorio CC, Trombitás K, Centner T, Kolmerer B, Stier G, Kunke K, Suzuki K, Obermayr F, Herrmann B, Granzier H, Sorimachi H and Labeit S

    Departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85724, USA. gregorio@u.arizona.edu

    Titin is a giant elastic protein in vertebrate striated muscles with an unprecedented molecular mass of 3-4 megadaltons. Single molecules of titin extend from the Z-line to the M-line. Here, we define the molecular layout of titin within the Z-line; the most NH2-terminal 30 kD of titin is located at the periphery of the Z-line at the border of the adjacent sarcomere, whereas the subsequent 60 kD of titin spans the entire width of the Z-line. In vitro binding studies reveal that mammalian titins have at least four potential binding sites for alpha-actinin within their Z-line spanning region. Titin filaments may specify Z-line width and internal structure by varying the length of their NH2-terminal overlap and number of alpha-actinin binding sites that serve to cross-link the titin and thin filaments. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the NH2-terminal titin Ig repeats Z1 and Z2 in the periphery of the Z-line bind to a novel 19-kD protein, referred to as titin-cap. Using dominant-negative approaches in cardiac myocytes, both the titin Z1-Z2 domains and titin-cap are shown to be required for the structural integrity of sarcomeres, suggesting that their interaction is critical in titin filament-regulated sarcomeric assembly.

    Funded by: NHLBI NIH HHS: R01 HL057461, R29 HL057461; NIAMS NIH HHS: AR42652; NIEHS NIH HHS: ES-06694, P30 ES006694

    The Journal of cell biology 1998;143;4;1013-27

  • Calmodulin mediates calcium-dependent inactivation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors.

    Zhang S, Ehlers MD, Bernhardt JP, Su CT and Huganir RL

    Department of Neuroscience, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.

    Ca2+ influx through N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors activates signal transduction pathways critical for many forms of synaptic plasticity in the brain. NMDA receptor-mediated Ca2+ influx also downregulates the gating of NMDA channels through a process called Ca2+-dependent inactivation (CDI). Recent studies have demonstrated that the calcium binding protein calmodulin directly interacts with NMDA receptors, suggesting that calmodulin may play a role in CDI. We report here that the mutation of a specific calmodulin binding site in the CO region of the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor blocks CDI. Moreover, intracellular infusion of a calmodulin inhibitory peptide markedly reduces CDI of both recombinant and neuronal NMDA receptors. Furthermore, this inactivating effect of calmodulin can be prevented by coexpressing a region of the cytoskeletal protein alpha-actinin2 known to interact with the CO region of NR1. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the binding of Ca2+/calmodulin to NR1 mediates CDI of the NMDA receptor and suggest that inactivation occurs via Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent release of the receptor complex from the neuronal cytoskeleton.

    Neuron 1998;21;2;443-53

  • Human skeletal muscle-specific alpha-actinin-2 and -3 isoforms form homodimers and heterodimers in vitro and in vivo.

    Chan Y, Tong HQ, Beggs AH and Kunkel LM

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

    Alpha-actinins belong to a family of actin-binding and crosslinking proteins and are expressed in many different cell types. Multiple isoforms of alpha-actinin are found in humans and are encoded by at least four distinct genes. Human skeletal muscle contains two sarcomeric isoforms, alpha-actinin-2 and -3. Previous studies have shown that the alpha-actinins function as anti-parallel homodimers but the question of heterodimer formation between two different isoforms expressed in the same cell type has not been explored. To address this issue, we expressed both alpha-actinin-2 and -3 in vitro and were able to detect their interaction by both blot overlay and co-immunoprecipitation methods. We were also able to demonstrate the presence of heterodimers in vivo in human skeletal muscle and in COS-1 cells transiently transfected with both isoforms. Our results clearly demonstrate the potential for alpha-actinin isoforms to form heterodimers which might have unique functional characteristics.

    Funded by: NIAMS NIH HHS: AR02026, AR44345; NINDS NIH HHS: NS23740

    Biochemical and biophysical research communications 1998;248;1;134-9

  • Molecular structure of the sarcomeric Z-disk: two types of titin interactions lead to an asymmetrical sorting of alpha-actinin.

    Young P, Ferguson C, Bañuelos S and Gautel M

    European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Postfach 10 22 09, 69012 Heidelberg, Germany.

    The sarcomeric Z-disk, the anchoring plane of thin (actin) filaments, links titin (also called connectin) and actin filaments from opposing sarcomere halves in a lattice connected by alpha-actinin. We demonstrate by protein interaction analysis that two types of titin interactions are involved in the assembly of alpha-actinin into the Z-disk. Titin interacts via a single binding site with the two central spectrin-like repeats of the outermost pair of alpha-actinin molecules. In the central Z-disk, titin can interact with multiple alpha-actinin molecules via their C-terminal domains. These interactions allow the assembly of a ternary complex of titin, actin and alpha-actinin in vitro, and are expected to constrain the path of titin in the Z-disk. In thick skeletal muscle Z-disks, titin filaments cross over the Z-disk centre by approximately 30 nm, suggesting that their alpha-actinin-binding sites overlap in an antiparallel fashion. The combination of our biochemical and ultrastructural data now allows a molecular model of the sarcomeric Z-disk, where overlapping titin filaments and their interactions with the alpha-actinin rod and C-terminal domain can account for the essential ultrastructural features.

    The EMBO journal 1998;17;6;1614-24

  • Adjacent asparagines in the NR2-subunit of the NMDA receptor channel control the voltage-dependent block by extracellular Mg2+.

    Wollmuth LP, Kuner T and Sakmann B

    Abteilung Zellphysiologie, Max-Planck-Institut für medizinische Forschung, Heidelberg, Germany. wollmuth@sunny.mpimf-Heidelberg.mpg.de

    1. The voltage-dependent block of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor channels by extracellular Mg2+ is a critical determinant of its contribution to CNS synaptic physiology. The function of the narrow constriction of the channel in determining the block was investigated by analysing the effects of a set different amino acid substitutions at exposed residues positioned at or near this region. NMDA receptor channels, composed of wild-type and mutant NR1- and NR2A-subunits, were expressed in Xenopus oocytes or human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. 2. In wild-type channels, the voltage dependence (delta) of the block Mg2+ was concentration dependent with values of delta of integral of 0.82 in 0.07 mM and higher concentrations. Under bionic conditions with high extracellular Mg2+ and K+ as the reference ion, Mg2+ weakly permeated the channel. Over intermediate potentials (approximately -60 to -10 mV), this weak permeability had no apparent effect on the block but at potentials negative to approximately -60mV, it attenuated the extent and voltage dependence of the block. 3. Substitutions of glycine, serine, glutamine or aspartate for the N-site asparagine in the NR1-subunit enhanced the extent of block over intermediate potentials but left the voltage dependence of the block unchanged indicating that structural determinants of the block remained. These same substitutions either attenuated or left unchanged the apparent Mg2+ permeability. 4. In channels containing substitutions of glycine, serine or glutamine for the N-site asparagine in the NR2A-subunit, the block Mg2+ was reduced at negative potentials. Over intermediate potentials, the block was not strongly attenuated except for the glutamine substitution which reduced the voltage dependence of the block to integral of 0.57 in 0.7 mM Mg2+. 5. Equivalent substitutions for the N + 1 site asparagine in the NR2A-subunit strongly attenuated the block over the entire voltage range. In 0.7 mM Mg2+, the voltage dependence of the block was reduced to 0.50 (glycine), 0.53 (serine) and 0.46 (glutamine). 6. Channels containing substitutions of the N-site or N + 1 site asparagines in the NR2A-subunit showed an increased Mg2+ permeability suggesting that these adjacent asparagines form a barrier for inward Mg2+ flux. Changes in this barrier contribute, at least in part, to the mechanism underlying disruption of the block following substitution of these residues. 7. The adjacent NR2A-subunit asparagines are positioned at or near the narrow constriction of the channel. Pore size, however, did not determine how effectively Mg2+ blocks mutant channels. 8. It is concluded that, at the narrow constriction in the NMDA receptor channel, the adjacent NR2A-subunit asparagines, the N-site and N + 1 site, but not the N-site asparagine of the NR1-subunit, form a critical blocking site for extracellular Mg2+. The contribution to the blocking site, in contrast to the prevailing view, is stronger for the N + 1 site than for the N-site asparagine. The block may involve binding of Mg2+ to these residues.

    The Journal of physiology 1998;506 ( Pt 1);13-32

  • Interaction of PKN with alpha-actinin.

    Mukai H, Toshimori M, Shibata H, Takanaga H, Kitagawa M, Miyahara M, Shimakawa M and Ono Y

    Radioisotope Research Center, Kobe University, Kobe 657, Japan.

    PKN is a fatty acid- and Rho-activated serine/threonine protein kinase, having a catalytic domain homologous to protein kinase C family. To identify components of the PKN-signaling pathway such as substrates and regulatory proteins of PKN, the yeast two-hybrid strategy was employed. Using the N-terminal region of PKN as a bait, cDNAs encoding actin cross-linking protein alpha-actinin, which lacked the N-terminal actin-binding domain, were isolated from human brain cDNA library. The responsible region for interaction between PKN and alpha-actinin was determined by in vitro binding analysis using the various truncated mutants of these proteins. The N-terminal region of PKN outside the RhoA-binding domain was sufficiently shown to associate with alpha-actinin. PKN bound to the third spectrin-like repeats of both skeletal and non-skeletal muscle type alpha-actinin. PKN also bound to the region containing EF-hand-like motifs of non-skeletal muscle type alpha-actinin in a Ca2+-sensitive manner and bound to that of skeletal muscle type alpha-actinin in a Ca2+-insensitive manner. alpha-Actinin was co-immunoprecipitated with PKN from the lysate of COS7 cells transfected with both expression constructs for PKN and alpha-actinin lacking the actin-binding domain. In vitro translated full-length alpha-actinin containing the actin-binding site hardly bound to PKN, but the addition of phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-bisphosphate, which is implicated in actin reorganization, stimulated the binding activity of the full-length alpha-actinin with PKN. We therefore propose that PKN is linked to the cytoskeletal network via a direct association between PKN and alpha-actinin.

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1997;272;8;4740-6

  • Competitive binding of alpha-actinin and calmodulin to the NMDA receptor.

    Wyszynski M, Lin J, Rao A, Nigh E, Beggs AH, Craig AM and Sheng M

    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

    The mechanisms by which neurotransmitter receptors are immobilized at postsynaptic sites in neurons are largely unknown. The activity of NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors is mechanosensitive and dependent on the integrity of actin, suggesting a functionally important interaction between NMDA receptors and the postsynaptic cytoskeleton. alpha-Actinin-2, a member of the spectrin/dystrophin family of actin-binding proteins, is identified here as a brain postsynaptic density protein that colocalizes in dendritic spines with NMDA receptors and the putative NMDA receptor-clustering molecule PSD-95. alpha-Actinin-2 binds by its central rod domain to the cytoplasmic tail of both NR1 and NR2B subunits of the NMDA receptor, and can be immunoprecipitated with NMDA receptors and PSD-95 from rat brain. Intriguingly, NR1-alpha-actinin binding is directly antagonized by Ca2+/calmodulin. Thus alpha-actinin may play a role in both the localization of NMDA receptors and their modulation by Ca2+.

    Nature 1997;385;6615;439-42

  • Leukocyte adhesion to vascular endothelium induces E-selectin linkage to the actin cytoskeleton.

    Yoshida M, Westlin WF, Wang N, Ingber DE, Rosenzweig A, Resnick N and Gimbrone MA

    Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

    We have examined functions of the cytoplasmic domain of E-selectin, an inducible endothelial transmembrane protein, especially its ability to associate with the cytoskeleton during leukocyte adhesion. Confocal microscopy of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta)-activated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) visualized clustering of E-selectin molecules in the vicinity of leukocyte-endothelial cell attachment sites. A detergent based extraction and Western blotting procedure demonstrated an association of E-selectin with the insoluble (cytoskeletal) fraction of endothelial monolayers that correlated with adhesion of leukocytes via an E-selectin-dependent mechanism. A mutant form of E-selectin lacking the cytoplasmic domain (tailless E-selectin) was expressed in COS-7 cell and supported leukocyte attachment (in a nonstatic adhesion assay) in a fashion similar to the native E-selectin molecule, but failed to become associated with the cytoskeletal fraction. To identify the cytoskeletal components that associate with the cytoplasmic domain of E-selectin, paramagnetic beads coated with the adhesion-blocking anti-E-selectin monoclonal antibody H18/7 were incubated with IL-1 beta-activated HUVEC, and then subjected to detergent extraction and magnetic separation. Certain actin-associated proteins, including alpha-actinin, vinculin, filamin, paxillin, as well as focal adhesion kinase (FAK), were copurified by this procedure, however talin was not. When a mechanical stress was applied to H18/7-coated ferromagnetic beads bound to the surface of IL-1 beta-activated HUVEC, using a magnetical twisting cytometer, the observed resistance to the applied stress was inhibited by cytochalasin D, thus demonstrating transmembrane cytoskeletal mechanical linkage. COS-7 cells transfected with the tailless E-selectin failed to show resistance to the twisting stress. Taken together, these data indicate that leukocyte adhesion to cytokine-activated HUVEC induces transmembrane cytoskeletal linkage of E-selectin through its cytoplasmic domain, a process which may have important implications for cell-cell signaling as well as mechanical anchoring during leukocyte-endothelial adhesive interactions.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA-45548; NHLBI NIH HHS: HL-33009, P01-HL-36028

    The Journal of cell biology 1996;133;2;445-55

  • Expression of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase types II and IV, and reduced DNA synthesis due to the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase inhibitor KN-62 (1-[N,O-bis(5-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-N-methyl-L-tyrosyl]-4-phenyl piperazine) in small cell lung carcinoma.

    Williams CL, Phelps SH and Porter RA

    Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory, Guthrie Research Institute, Sayre, PA 18840, USA.

    Because changes in intracellular Ca2+ affect progression through the mitotic cell cycle, we investigated the role of Ca2+-binding proteins in regulating cell cycle progression. Evidence was found demonstrating that the activation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaM kinase) inhibits cell cycle progression in small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) cells. We also demonstrated that SCLC cells express both CaM kinase type II (CaMKII) and CaM kinase type IV (CaMKIV). Five independent SCLC cell lines expressed proteins reactive with antibody to the CaMKII beta subunit, but none expressed detectable proteins reactive with antibody to the CaMKII alpha subunit. All SCLC cell lines tested expressed both the alpha and beta isoforms of CaMKIV. Immunoprecipitation of CaMKII from SCLC cells yielded multiple proteins that autophosphorylated in the presence of Ca2+ / calmodulin. Autophosphorylation was inhibited by the CaMKII(281-302) peptide, which corresponds to the CaMKII autoinhibitory domain, and by 1-[N,O-bis(5-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-N-methyl-L-tyrosyl]-4- phenylpiperazine (KN-62), a specific CaM kinase antagonist. Influx of Ca2+ through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels stimulated phosphorylation of CaMKII in SCLC cells, and this was inhibited by KN-62. Incubation of SCLC cells of KN-62 potently inhibited DNA synthesis, and slowed progression through S phase. Similar anti-proliferative effects of KN-62 occurred in SK-N-SH human neuroblastoma cells, which express both CaMKII and CaMKIV, and in K562 human chronic myelogenous leukemia cells, which express CaMKII but not CaMKIV. The expression of both CaMKII and CaMKIV by SCLC cells, and the sensitivity of these cells to the anti-proliferative effects of KN-62, suggest a role for CaM kinase in regulating SCLC proliferation.

    Funded by: NCI NIH HHS: CA52471

    Biochemical pharmacology 1996;51;5;707-15

  • Developmental rearrangements of cortical glutamate-NMDA receptor binding sites in late human gestation.

    Andersen DL, Tannenberg AE, Burke CJ and Dodd PR

    Royal Brisbane Hospital Research Foundation, Australia.

    NMDA-preferring glutamate receptor biding sites were characterized using the site-selective ligand [3H]MK801, in synaptic membranes prepared from cerebral cortex tissue obtained postmortem from human infants who had died with minimal neurological and neuropathological impairment between 22 and 42 weeks' gestation. It proved necessary to modify the assay protocol used with adult tissue before reliable data could be obtained. In the four cortical region studied (prefrontal, motor, occipital, temporal), [3H]MK801 bound to a single class of sites which showed significant variations in affinity only in motor cortex. The density of [3H]MK801 binding sites (calculated at constant affinity) showed marked increases in all cortical regions over this period. The extent to which glutamate could enhance [3H]MK801 binding became significantly lower in prefrontal and motor cortex as gestation progressed, so that at term, little activation was apparent. In occipital and temporal cortex, this parameter was low throughout late gestation. The evidence suggests that Glutamate-NMDA binding sites may undergo structural rearrangements which alter their ability to interact with ligands during the later stages of human gestation, and that such changes are regionally variable.

    Brain research. Developmental brain research 1995;88;2;178-85

  • Activation of human neutrophils induces an interaction between the integrin beta 2-subunit (CD18) and the actin binding protein alpha-actinin.

    Pavalko FM and LaRoche SM

    Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202.

    Mac-1 and LFA-1, members of the leukocyte or CD18 integrin subfamily of adhesion molecules, rapidly change from a low avidity to a high avidity state on activation of neutrophils by various agonists. The control of CD18 integrin-dependent neutrophil adhesion and the mechanisms that regulate integrin avidity are poorly understood. Cytoplasmic domain deletion experiments indicate that the cytoplasmic domains of integrins are necessary for proper integrin function and suggest that interactions with intracellular proteins are involved. We have focused on identifying cytoskeletal proteins that interact with the cytoplasmic domain of the beta-subunit (beta 2 or CD18) common to the leukocyte subfamily of integrins, which include LFA-1, Mac-1, and p150,95. The actin binding protein alpha-actinin associates in vitro with a peptide corresponding to a portion of the CD18 cytoplasmic domain in solid phase binding assays and affinity chromatography experiments. The peptide sequence within the CD18 cytoplasmic domain that binds alpha-actinin is homologous with a region in the cytoplasmic domain of the integrin beta 1-subunit, which also binds alpha-actinin. We demonstrate that the association of alpha-actinin with CD18 is physiologically relevant by coimmunoprecipitating CD18 with alpha-actinin from stimulated human neutrophils under nondenaturing conditions. Using a mAb against CD18 to probe Western blots of immunoprecipitated complexes, CD18 was found to coprecipitate with alpha-actinin when cells were activated with the chemotactic peptide FMLP or with the cytokines leukotriene B4 or TNF-alpha. Very little CD18 coprecipitates with alpha-actinin from unactivated cells. FMLP concentrations as low as 10 nM were sufficient to induce the association of CD18 with alpha-actinin; very little association was detected in cells activated with 1 nM FMLP. The association between alpha-actinin and CD18 was transient, peaking 5-10 min after activation and decreasing to near resting levels by 20 min. CD18 did not coimmunoprecipitate with talin or vinculin in vivo. We conclude that activation of neutrophils results in an alpha-actinin-mediated association between CD18 integrins and actin filaments. In addition to its actin bundling activity, alpha-actinin has a major function as an actin membrane linker molecule, and integrin avidity may be affected by an association with the actin cytoskeleton involving alpha-actinin.

    Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 1993;151;7;3795-807

  • A (CA)n repeat polymorphism for the human skeletal muscle alpha-actinin gene ACTN2 and its localization on the linkage map of chromosome 1.

    Beggs AH, Phillips HA, Kozman H, Mulley JC, Wilton SD, Kunkel LM and Laing NG

    Genetics Division, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

    A CA dinucleotide repeat polymorphism has been identified for the skeletal muscle alpha-actinin gene ACTN2. The observed heterozygosity is 44% (predicted heterozygosity 50%, PIC 0.47). This polymorphic marker has been localized between D1S74 and D1S103 on the multipoint linkage map of chromosome 1 at a position 44.4 cM from the most distal marker D1S68 at 1 qter.

    Genomics 1992;13;4;1314-5

  • Cloning and characterization of two human skeletal muscle alpha-actinin genes located on chromosomes 1 and 11.

    Beggs AH, Byers TJ, Knoll JH, Boyce FM, Bruns GA and Kunkel LM

    Division of Genetics, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

    Conserved sequences of dystrophin, beta-spectrin, and alpha-actinin were used to plan a set of degenerate oligonucleotide primers with which we amplified a portion of a human alpha-actinin gene transcript. Using this short clone as a probe, we isolated and characterized full-length cDNA clones for two human alpha-actinin genes (ACTN2 and ACTN3). These genes encode proteins that are structurally similar to known alpha-actinins with approximately 80% amino acid identity to each other and to the previously characterized human nonmuscle gene. ACTN2 is the human homolog of a previously characterized chicken gene while ACTN3 represents a novel gene product. Northern blot analysis demonstrated that ACTN2 is expressed in both skeletal and cardiac muscle, but ACTN3 expression is limited to skeletal muscle. As with other muscle-specific isoforms, the EF-hand domains in ACTN2 and ACTN3 are predicted to be incapable of binding calcium, suggesting that actin binding is not calcium sensitive. ACTN2 was mapped to human chromosome 1q42-q43 and ACTN3 to 11q13-q14 by somatic cell hybrid panels and fluorescent in situ hybridization. These results demonstrate that some of the isoform diversity of alpha-actinins is the result of transcription from different genetic loci.

    Funded by: NICHD NIH HHS: HD18658; NINDS NIH HHS: NS23740

    The Journal of biological chemistry 1992;267;13;9281-8

  • Alpha-actinin and vinculin in human neutrophils: reorganization during adhesion and relation to the actin network.

    Yürüker B and Niggli V

    Department of Pathology, University of Bern, Switzerland.

    We have studied the reorganization of vinculin and alpha-actinin during the process of adhesion in human neutrophils using immunofluorescence microscopy and interference reflection microscopy (IRM). Neutrophils in contact with uncoated glass formed black IRM areas in the cell periphery, indicative of very close contact with the substratum. Eight to twelve minutes after addition of cells to glass, vinculin was found to become concentrated in small patches at the cell periphery, partially colocalizing with the black IRM areas and with small F-actin-containing adherent protrusions. In contrast, vinculin was not significantly enriched in the less adherent F-actin-rich large pseudopods. alpha-Actinin became enriched during cell adhesion in retraction fibers and, in 40-50% of the inspected cells, also in large less adherent pseudopods where it colocalized with F-actin. The latter finding suggests a continuous dynamic reorganization of pseudopods, with incorporation of alpha-actinin at a certain stage. Disruption of the actin network with cytochalasin D revealed a differential interaction of alpha-actinin and vinculin with the actin network. alpha-Actinin was strongly influenced by cytochalasin D, comparable to F-actin, and both proteins formed colocalizing peripheral caps in 10(-5) M of the drug. Vinculin organization in contrast was not affected by up to 10(-6) M cytochalasin. At 10(-5) M of the drug, however, the patches disappeared completely, vinculin now assuming a diffuse cytoplasmic location. Our results suggest a specialized function of vinculin in adhesion sites of human neutrophils, whereas alpha-actinin may structure the actin network in retraction fibers and in less adherent pseudopods.

    Journal of cell science 1992;101 ( Pt 2);403-14

Gene lists (8)

Gene List Source Species Name Description Gene count
L00000009 G2C Homo sapiens Human PSD Human orthologues of mouse PSD adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1080
L00000015 G2C Homo sapiens Human NRC Human orthologues of mouse NRC adapted from Collins et al (2006) 186
L00000016 G2C Homo sapiens Human PSP Human orthologues of mouse PSP adapted from Collins et al (2006) 1121
L00000032 G2C Homo sapiens Pocklington H1 Human orthologues of cluster 1 (mouse) from Pocklington et al (2006) 21
L00000059 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-HUMAN-PSD-CONSENSUS Human cortex PSD consensus 748
L00000061 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-CONSENSUS Mouse cortex PSD consensus (ortho) 984
L00000069 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-HUMAN-PSD-FULL Human cortex biopsy PSD full list 1461
L00000071 G2C Homo sapiens BAYES-COLLINS-MOUSE-PSD-FULL Mouse cortex PSD full list (ortho) 1556
© G2C 2014. The Genes to Cognition Programme received funding from The Wellcome Trust and the EU FP7 Framework Programmes:
EUROSPIN (FP7-HEALTH-241498), SynSys (FP7-HEALTH-242167) and GENCODYS (FP7-HEALTH-241995).

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