Actin filament bundling and different nucleating effects of mouse Diaphanous-related formin FH2 domains on actin/ADF and actin/cofilin complexes

Gia Machaidze, Andrea Sokoll, Atsushi Shimada, Ariel Lustig, Antonina Mazur, Alfred Wittinghofer, Ueli Aebi, Hans Georg Mannherz
Journal of Molecular Biology 2010 November 5, 403 (4): 529-45
Mouse Diaphanous-related formins (mDias) are members of the formin protein family that nucleate actin polymerization and subsequently promote filamentous actin (F-actin) elongation by monomer addition to fast-growing barbed ends. It has been suggested that mDias preferentially recruit actin complexed to profilin due to their proline-rich FH1 domains. During filament elongation, dimeric mDias remain attached to the barbed ends by their FH2 domains, which form an anti-parallel ring-like structure enclosing the filament barbed ends. Dimer formation of mDia-FH2 domains is dependent on their N-terminal lasso and linker subdomains (connector). Here, we investigated the effect of isolated FH2 domains on actin polymerization using mDia1-FH2 domain plus connector, as well as core mDia1, mDia2, and mDia3 missing the connector, by cosedimentation and electron microscopy after negative staining. Analytical ultracentrifugation showed that core FH2 domains of mDia1 and mDia2 exhibited a low degree of dimer formation, whereas mDia3-FH2 minus connector and mDia1-FH2 plus connector readily dimerized. Only core mDia3-FH2 was able to nucleate actin polymerization. However, all tested core FH2 domains decorated and bundled F-actin, as demonstrated by electron microscopy after negative staining. Bundling activity was highest for mDia3-FH2, decreased for mDia2-FH2, and further decreased for mDia1-FH2. The mDia1-FH2 domain plus connector induced actin polymerization also in the absence of profilin, but failed to induce F-actin deformation and bundling. We also tested whether mDia1-FH2 was able to repolymerize actin in complex with different proteins that stabilize globular actin. The data obtained demonstrated that mDia1-FH2 induced actin repolymerization only from the actin/cofilin-1 complex, but not when complexed to actin depolymerizing factor, gelsolin segment 1, vitamin D binding protein, or deoxyribonuclease I.

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