A complex containing lysine-acetylated actin inhibits the formin INF2

Nat Cell Biol. 2019 May;21(5):592-602. doi: 10.1038/s41556-019-0307-4. Epub 2019 Apr 8.


Inverted formin 2 (INF2) is a member of the formin family of actin assembly factors. Dominant missense mutations in INF2 are linked to two diseases: focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a kidney disease, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a neuropathy. All of the disease mutations map to the autoinhibitory diaphanous inhibitory domain. Interestingly, purified INF2 is not autoinhibited, suggesting the existence of other cellular inhibitors. Here, we purified an INF2 inhibitor from mouse brain tissue, and identified it as a complex of lysine-acetylated actin (KAc-actin) and cyclase-associated protein (CAP). Inhibition of INF2 by CAP-KAc-actin is dependent on the INF2 diaphanous inhibitory domain (DID). Treatment of CAP-KAc-actin-inhibited INF2 with histone deacetylase 6 releases INF2 inhibition, whereas inhibitors of histone deacetylase 6 block the activation of cellular INF2. Disease-associated INF2 mutants are poorly inhibited by CAP-KAc-actin, suggesting that focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease result from reduced CAP-KAc-actin binding. These findings reveal a role for KAc-actin in the regulation of an actin assembly factor by a mechanism that we call facilitated autoinhibition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / chemistry
  • Actins / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / genetics*
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / pathology
  • Formins
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / genetics*
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / pathology
  • Histone Deacetylase 6 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Histone Deacetylase 6 / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lysine / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Microfilament Proteins / chemistry
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics*
  • Mutation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Domains / genetics


  • Actins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Formins
  • INF2 protein, mouse
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • acetylated actin
  • cyclase-associated protein 1, mouse
  • Hdac6 protein, mouse
  • Histone Deacetylase 6
  • Lysine