Identification of spectrin-like repeats required for high affinity utrophin-actin interaction

Inna N. Rybakova, James M. Ervasti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Most studies aimed at characterizing the utrophinactin interaction have focused on the amino-terminal tandem calponin homology domain. However, we recently reported evidence suggesting that spectrin-like repeats of utrophin also participate in binding to actin. Here we expressed several recombinant fragments encoding the utrophin amino-terminal domain alone or in combination with various numbers of spectrin-like repeats. We further quantitatively characterized the actin binding properties of each recombinant utrophin fragment using a high-speed sedimentation assay. To evaluate the capacity of each protein to stabilize actin filaments, we compared the effect of utrophin recombinant fragments and full-length utrophin on 6-propionyl-2-(N,N- dimethylamino)naphthalene actin depolymerization. Our results suggest that, whereas the amino-terminal domain is essential for primary interaction between utrophin and actin, spectrin-like repeats have additive effects on the affinity and stoichiometry of binding. Our data indicate that the amino-terminal domain and first 10 consecutive spectrin-like repeats recapitulate the actin binding activity of full-length utrophin more faithfully than the amino-terminal domain alone. These findings support the model for lateral association of utrophin along the actin filament and provide the molecular basis for designing the most effective utrophin "mini-genes" for treatment of dystrophinopathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23018-23023
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 17 2005


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