The actin cytoskeleton is a dynamic structure that coordinates numerous fundamental processes in eukaryotic cells. Dozens of actin-binding proteins are known to be involved in the regulation of actin filament organization or turnover and many of these are stimulus-response regulators of phospholipid signaling. One of these proteins is the heterodimeric actin-capping protein (CP) which binds the barbed end of actin filaments with high affinity and inhibits both addition and loss of actin monomers at this end. The ability of CP to bind filaments is regulated by signaling phospholipids, which inhibit the activity of CP; however, the exact mechanism of this regulation and the residues on CP responsible for lipid interactions is not fully resolved. Here, we focus on the interaction of CP with two signaling phospholipids, phosphatidic acid (PA) and phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate (PIP2). Using different methods of computational biology such as homology modeling, molecular docking and coarse-grained molecular dynamics, we uncovered specific modes of high affinity interaction between membranes containing PA/phosphatidylcholine (PC) and plant CP, as well as between PIP2/PC and animal CP. In particular, we identified differences in the binding of membrane lipids by animal and plant CP, explaining previously published experimental results. Furthermore, we pinpoint the critical importance of the C-terminal part of plant CPα subunit for CP–membrane interactions. We prepared a GST-fusion protein for the C-terminal domain of plant α subunit and verified this hypothesis with lipid-binding assays in vitro.


This is the publisher pdf of Pleskot R, Pejchar P, Žárský V, Staiger CJ, Potocký M (2012) Structural Insights into the Inhibition of Actin-Capping Protein by Interactions with Phosphatidic Acid and Phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-Bisphosphate. PLoS Comput Biol 8(11): e1002765. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002765 and is available at: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002765.

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