Dystrophin and utrophin bind actin through distinct modes of contact

Inna N. Rybakova, Jill L. Humston, Kevin J. Sonnemann, James M. Ervasti

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84 Scopus citations


This study was designed to define the molecular epitopes of dystrophin-actin interaction and to directly compare the actin binding properties of dystrophin and utrophin. According to our data, dystrophin and utrophin both bound alongside actin filaments with submicromolar affinities. However, the molecular epitopes involved in actin binding differed between the two proteins. In utrophin, the amino-terminal domain and an adjacent string of the first 10 spectrin-like repeats more fully recapitulated the activities measured for full-length protein. The homologous region of dystrophin bound actin with low affinity and near 1:1 stoichiometry as previously measured for the isolated amino-terminal, tandem (CH) domain. In contrast, a dystrophin construct including a cluster of basic spectrin-like repeats and spanning from the amino terminus through repeat 17, bound actin with properties most similar to full-length dystrophin. Dystrophin and utrophin both stabilized preformed actin filaments from forced depolymerization with similar efficacies but did not appear to compete for binding sites on actin. We also found that dystrophin binding to F-actin was markedly sensitive to increasing ionic strength, although utrophin binding was unaffected. Although dystrophin and utrophin are functionally homologous actin-binding proteins, these results indicate that their respective modes of contact with actin filaments are markedly different. Finally, we reassessed the abundance of dystrophin in striated muscle using full-length protein as the standard and measured greater than 10-fold higher values than previously reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9996-10001
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 14 2006


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