Nanostructured self-assembly of inverted formin 2 (INF2) and F-actin-INF2 complexes revealed by atomic force microscopy

Shivani Sharma, Elena E Grintsevich, JungReem Woo, Pinar S Gurel, Henry N Higgs, Emil Reisler, James K Gimzewski
Langmuir: the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids 2014 July 1, 30 (25): 7533-9
Self-organization of cytoskeletal proteins such as actin and tubulin into filaments and microtubules is frequently assisted by the proteins binding to them. Formins are regulatory proteins that nucleate the formation of new filaments and are essential for a wide range of cellular functions. The vertebrate inverted formin 2 (INF2) has both actin filament nucleating and severing/depolymerizing activities connected to its ability to encircle actin filaments. Using atomic force microscopy, we report that a formin homology 2 (FH2) domain-containing construct of INF2 (INF2-FH1-FH2-C or INF2-FFC) self-assembles into nanoscale ringlike oligomeric structures in the absence of actin filaments, demonstrating an inherent ability to reorganize from a dimeric to an oligomeric state. A construct lacking the C-terminal region (INF2-FH1-FH2 or INF2-FF) also oligomerizes, confirming the dominant role of FH2-mediated interactions. Moreover, INF2-FFC domains were observed to organize into ringlike structures around single actin filaments. This is the first demonstration that formin FH2 domains can self-assemble into oligomers in the absence of filaments and has important implications for observing unaveraged decoration and/or remodeling of filaments by actin binding proteins.


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