intermediate filament binding protein
Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
The association of erythrocyte spectrin with desmin filaments was investigated using two in vitro assays. The ability of spectrin to promote the interaction of desmin filaments with membranes was investigated by electron microscopy of desmin filament-erythrocyte inside-out vesicle preparations. Desmin filaments bound to erythrocyte inside-out vesicles in a spectrin-dependent manner, demonstrating that spectrin is capable of mediating the association of desmin filaments with plasma membranes. A quantitative sedimentation assay was used to demonstrate the direct association of spectrin with desmin filaments in vitro. When increasing concentrations of spectrin were incubated with desmin filaments, spectrin cosedimented with desmin filaments in a concentration-dependent manner. At near saturation the spectrin:desmin molar ratio in the sedimented complex was 1:230. Our results suggest that, in addition to its well characterized associations with actin, spectrin functions to mediate the association of intermediate filaments with plasma membranes. It might be that nonerythrocyte spectrins share erythrocyte spectrin's ability to bind to intermediate filaments and function in nonerythroid cells to promote the interaction of intermediate filaments with actin filaments and/or the plasma membrane.
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