Drebrin is a development-associated neuroprotein whose cDNA into fibroblasts causes the formation of dendrite-like structures (Shirao, T., Kojima, N., and Obata, K. (1992) Neuroreport 3, 109-112). To explore molecular functions of drebrin during brain development, we purified drebrin from brains of rat embryos. Drebrin bound to actin filaments at a stoichiometry of 1:5 with a dissociation constant (K(d) of 1.2 x 10-7 M. It strongly inhibited the actin binding activity of tropomyosin. Excess amounts of tropomyosin also inhibited the drebrin binding to actin filaments, suggesting that drebrin and tropomyosin competitively bind to actin filaments. Further, drebrin inhibited not only the actin binding activity of α-actinin but also the actin cross-linking activity of α-actinin. Gene transfection experiments revealed that tropomyosin was dissociated from actin filaments in drebrin-overexpressing fibroblasts. Thus we hypothesize that drebrin may destabilize actin filaments by dissociating tropomyosin and α- actinin from actin filaments, resulting in the formation of axon and dendrites during neuronal development.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Biological Chemistry
|Published - Nov 25 1994