Mitotic spindle positioning protein (MISP) preferentially binds to aged F-actin

J Biol Chem. 2024 Apr 7;300(5):107279. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2024.107279. Online ahead of print.


Actin bundling proteins crosslink filaments into polarized structures that shape and support membrane protrusions including filopodia, microvilli, and stereocilia. In the case of epithelial microvilli, mitotic spindle positioning protein (MISP) is an actin bundler that localizes specifically to the basal rootlets, where the pointed ends of core bundle filaments converge. Previous studies established that MISP is prevented from binding more distal segments of the core bundle by competition with other actin-binding proteins. Yet whether MISP holds a preference for binding directly to rootlet actin remains an open question. By immunostaining native intestinal tissue sections, we found that microvillar rootlets are decorated with the severing protein, cofilin, suggesting high levels of ADP-actin in these structures. Using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy assays, we also found that purified MISP exhibits a binding preference for ADP- versus ADP-Pi-actin-containing filaments. Consistent with this, assays with actively growing actin filaments revealed that MISP binds at or near their pointed ends. Moreover, although substrate attached MISP assembles filament bundles in parallel and antiparallel configurations, in solution MISP assembles parallel bundles consisting of multiple filaments exhibiting uniform polarity. These discoveries highlight nucleotide state sensing as a mechanism for sorting actin bundlers along filaments and driving their accumulation near filament ends. Such localized binding might drive parallel bundle formation and/or locally modulate bundle mechanical properties in microvilli and related protrusions.

Keywords: brush border; bundle; cytoskeleton; enterocyte; membrane; microvilli; protrusion; terminal web.