An 82-kD protein has been purified from the undercoat of the adherens junction isolated from the rat liver. The purification scheme includes low salt extraction followed by DEAE-cellulose ion exchange, DNase I-actin affinity, and carboxyl methyl-cellulose ion exchange chromatographies. The purified 82-kD protein was essentially free of contaminants as judged by SDS-PAGE combined with silver staining. The substoichiometric 82-kD protein largely inhibited the actin filament assembly; when the molar ratio of the 82-kD protein to G-actin was 1:1,000, the viscosity was reduced to 28% of the control value. Direct electron microscopic studies revealed that the 82-kD protein selectively inhibited monomer addition at the barbed ends of actin filaments. By use of the antibody raised against the 82-kD protein, this protein was shown by immunofluorescence microscopy to be localized at the cell-to-cell adherens junction in various types of cells. In contrast, the 82-kD protein was not concentrated at the cell-to-substrate adherens junctions (focal contacts). These findings have led us to conclude that the 82-kD protein is a barbed end-capping protein which is associated with the undercoat of the cell-to-cell adherens junction. Hence, we have tentatively designated the 82-kD protein as radixin (from the Latin word radix meaning root).

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