Using a reconstituted complex of profilin and skeletal muscle actin as an antigen, we generated a monoclonal mouse antibody against actin, termed 2G2. As revealed by immunoblots of proteolytic actin fragments and by pepscan analysis, the antibody recognises a nonsequential epitope on actin which is located within three different regions of the sequence, consisting of aa131-139, aa155-169, and aa176-187. In the actin model derived from X-ray diffraction, these sequences lie spatially close together in the region of the nucleotide-binding cleft, but do not form a coherent patch. In immunoblots, 2G2 reacts with all SDS-denatured actin isoforms and with actins of many vertebrates. In contrast, its immunofluorescence reactivity is highly selective and fixation-dependent. In fibroblasts and myogenic cells, fixed and extracted by formaldehyde/detergent, stress fibres or myofibrils, respectively, remained unstained. Likewise, after microinjection into living cells, 2G2 did not bind to such microfilament bundles. Extraction of myosin and tropomyosin did not alter this pattern indicating that the lack in reactivity is probably not due to epitope-masking by actin-binding proteins. More likely, the reason for the lack of reactivity with filamentous actin is that its epitope is not accessible in F-actin. However, the antibody revealed a distinct pattern of nuclear dots in differentiated myogenic cells but not in myoblasts, and of fibrillar structures in nuclei of Xenopus oocytes. In contrast, after methanol treatment, a 2G2-specific staining of stress fibres and myofibrils was observed, but no nuclear dot staining. We conclude that 2G2, in addition to binding to SDS- and methanol-denatured actin, recognises a specific conformation of native actin which is present in the nucleus and specified by compaction of the antibody-reactive region into a coherent patch. This conformation is apparently present in differentiated myogenic cells and oocytes, but not in cytoplasmic actin filament bundles.
Conformational difference between nuclear and cytoplasmic actin as detected by a monoclonal antibody
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S.M. Gonsior, S. Platz, S. Buchmeier, U. Scheer, B.M. Jockusch, H. Hinssen; Conformational difference between nuclear and cytoplasmic actin as detected by a monoclonal antibody. J Cell Sci 15 March 1999; 112 (6): 797–809. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.112.6.797
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