The interaction with actin and intracellular localization of the 30,000-D actin-binding protein from the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum have been investigated to analyze the potential contributions of this protein to cell structure and movement. The formation of anisotropic cross-linked filament networks (bundles) containing actin and the 30,000-D protein has been observed by electron microscopy, light scattering, viscometry, and polarization microscopy. Cosedimentation experiments indicate that a maximum of one molecule of the 30,000-D protein can bind to 10 actin monomers in filaments with an apparent association constant of 1 X 10(7) liters/mol. Inhibition of the interaction of the 30,000-D protein with actin by either magnesium or calcium was observed by viscometry, light scattering, polarization microscopy, and direct binding assays. However, the concentration of magnesium required to diminish the interaction is greater than 100 times greater than that of calcium. The association constant of the 30,000-D protein for actin is 4.2 X 10(6) liters/mol, or less than 1 X 10(5) liters/mol in the presence of increased concentrations of either Mg2+ or Ca2+, respectively. Enzyme-linked immunoassays indicate that the 30,000-D protein comprises 0.04% of the protein in D. discoideum. Extensive interaction of the 30,000-D protein with actin in cytoplasm is predicted from these measurements of the concentration of this protein and its affinity for actin. The distribution of the 30,000-D protein was analyzed by immunofluorescence microscopy using mono-specific affinity-purified polyclonal antibody. The 30,000-D protein exhibits a diffuse distribution in cytoplasm, is excluded from prominent organelles, and is quite prominent in fine extensions protruding from the cell surface. The number, length, and distribution of these extensions containing the 30,000-D protein are similar to those of filopodia observed by scanning electron microscopy. To analyze the effects of cell thickness and the distribution of organelles on the immunofluorescence localization, fluorescein-labeled BSA was incorporated into the cytoplasm of living cells before fixation and staining using a sonication loading technique. The results indicate that the 30,000-D protein is selectively incorporated into filopodia. These results provide a clear distinction between the multiple actin-cross-linking proteins present in D. discoideum, and suggest that the 30,000-D protein contributes to organization of bundles of actin filaments in filopodia.

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