Effect of tropomyosin on formin-bound actin filaments

Biophys J. 2009 Jan;96(1):162-8. doi: 10.1529/biophysj.108.138420.


Formins are conservative proteins with important roles in the regulation of the microfilament system in eukaryotic cells. Previous studies showed that the binding of formins to actin made the structure of actin filaments more flexible. Here, the effects of tropomyosin on formin-induced changes in actin filaments were investigated using fluorescence spectroscopic methods. The temperature dependence of the Förster-type resonance energy transfer showed that the formin-induced increase of flexibility of actin filaments was diminished by the binding of tropomyosin to actin. Fluorescence anisotropy decay measurements also revealed that the structure of flexible formin-bound actin filaments was stabilized by the binding of tropomyosin. The stabilizing effect reached its maximum when all binding sites on actin were occupied by tropomyosin. The effect of tropomyosin on actin filaments was independent of ionic strength, but became stronger as the magnesium concentration increased. Based on these observations, we propose that in cells there is a molecular mechanism in which tropomyosin binding to actin plays an important role in forming mechanically stable actin filaments, even in the case of formin-induced rapid filament assembly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Elasticity
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fluorescence Polarization
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
  • Magnesium Chloride / chemistry
  • Microfilament Proteins / chemistry*
  • Models, Chemical
  • Potassium Chloride / chemistry
  • Rabbits
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors
  • Tropomyosin / chemistry*


  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Tropomyosin
  • Magnesium Chloride
  • Potassium Chloride