Iba1 is a 17-kDa EF hand protein that is specifically expressed in macrophages/microglia and is upregulated during the activation of these cells. When exposed to macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), microglia cell line MG5 immediately produces intense membrane ruffles in which Iba1 accumulates together with filamentous actin. In this study, we investigated the physical interaction between Iba1 and actin by centrifugation assay and electron microscopic examination and showed that Iba1 possesses actin-binding and -cross-linking activities. Inhibitory mutant Iba1 that suppresses M-CSF-induced membrane ruffling had lost the actin-cross-linking activity, and it inhibited the cross-linking activity of intact Iba1. These results indicate that Iba1 is a macrophage/microglia-specific actin-cross-linking protein essential for M-CSF-induced membrane ruffling.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.