Adducin: structure, function and regulation

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2000 Jun;57(6):884-95. doi: 10.1007/PL00000731.


Adducin is a ubiquitously expressed membrane-skeletal protein localized at spectrin-actin junctions that binds calmodulin and is an in vivo substrate for protein kinase C (PKC) and Rho-associated kinase. Adducin is a tetramer comprised of either alpha/beta or alpha/gamma heterodimers. Adducin subunits are related in sequence and all contain an N-terminal globular head domain, a neck domain and a C-terminal protease-sensitive tail domain. The tail domains of all adducin subunits end with a highly conserved 22-residue myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS)-related domain that has homology to MARCKS protein. Adducin caps the fast-growing ends of actin filaments and also preferentially recruits spectrin to the ends of filaments. Both the neck and the MARCKS-related domains are required for these activities. The neck domain self-associates to form oligomers. The MARCKS-related domain binds calmodulin and contains the major phosphorylation site for PKC. Calmodulin, gelsolin and phosphorylation by the kinase inhibit in vitro activities of adducin involving actin and spectrin. Recent observations suggest a role for adducin in cell motility, and as a target for regulation by Rho-dependent and Ca2+-dependent pathways. Prominent physiological sites of regulation of adducin include dendritic spines of hippocampal neurons, platelets and growth cones of axons.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calmodulin / metabolism
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / chemistry*
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Spectrin / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Calmodulin
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins
  • adducin
  • Spectrin