Caldesmon inhibits Arp2/3-mediated actin nucleation

Yoshihiko Yamakita, Fumio Oosawa, Shigeko Yamashiro, Fumio Matsumura

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The Arp2/3 complex greatly accelerates actin polymerization, which is thought to play a major role in cell motility by inducing membrane protrusions including ruffling movements. Membrane ruffles contain a variety of actin-binding proteins, which would modulate Arp2/ 3-dependent actin polymerization. However, their exact roles in actin polymerization remain to be established. Because caldesmon is present in membrane ruffles, as well as in stress fibers, it may alter Arp2/3-mediated actin polymerization. We have found that caldesmon greatly retards Arp2/3-induced actin polymerization. Kinetic analyses have revealed that caldesmon inhibits the nucleation process, whereas it does not largely reduce elongation. Caldesmon is found to inhibit binding of Arp2/3 to F-actin, which apparently reduces the ability of F-actin as a secondary activator of Arp2/3-mediated nucleation. We also have found that the inhibition of the binding between actin and caldesmon either by Ca2+/calmodulin or by phosphorylation with cdc2 kinase reverses the inhibitory effect of caldesmon on Arp2/3-induced actin polymerization. Our results suggest that caldesmon may be a key protein that modulates membrane ruffling and that this may involve changes in caldesmon phosphorylation and/or intracellular calcium concentrations during signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17937-17944
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 16 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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