The Chlamydomonas mutant ida5 is deficient in the conventional actin gene and its axoneme lacks a subset of inner dynein arms that contain actin as a subunit. However, this mutant retains some other inner dynein arms because a novel protein (NAP) is expressed as a substitute for actin. In this study, we show by sequence analysis that NAP is identical to a putative actin-related protein, the cDNA sequence of which has recently been reported and shown to have 64% amino acid identity with conventional actin. A polyclonal antibody raised against a synthetic polypeptide corresponding to the NH2-terminal sequence of this protein specifically reacted with the spot corresponding to NAP in two-dimensional electrophoresis patterns. NAP apparently can substitute for conventional actin in some, but not all, cellular functions, and therefore can be regarded as a highly divergent actin. This unconventional actin appears to be expressed only when conventional actin is absent.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.