Atomic model of the actin filament

Nature. 1990 Sep 6;347(6288):44-9. doi: 10.1038/347044a0.


The F-actin filament has been constructed from the atomic structure of the actin monomer to fit the observed X-ray fibre diagram from oriented gels of F-actin. A unique orientation of the monomer with respect to the actin helix has been found. The main interactions are along the two-start helix with a contribution from a loop extending across the filament axis provided by the molecule in the adjacent strand. There are also contacts along the left-handed genetic helix.

MeSH terms

  • Actins*
  • Adenosine Diphosphate / metabolism
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry, Physical
  • Crystallization
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / metabolism
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Phalloidine
  • Protein Conformation
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Actins
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Phalloidine
  • Adenosine Diphosphate
  • Deoxyribonuclease I
  • Calcium