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Models of the Actin Monomer and Filament from Fluorescence Resonance-Energy Transfer

S. O'Donoghue
Journal / Anthology

European Journal of Biochemistry
Year: 1992
Volume: 205
Page range: 591-601

We have developed algorithms for combining fluorescence resonance-energy transfer (FRET) efficiency measurements into structural models which predict the relative positions of the chemical groups used in FRET. We used these algorithms to construct models of the actin monomer and filament derived solely from FRET measurements based on seven distinct loci. We found a mirror-image pair of monomer models which best fit the FRET data. One of these models agrees well with the atomic-resolution crystal structure recently published by Kabsch et al. in Heidelberg [Kabsch, W., Mannerz, H.G., Suck, D. Pai, E.F. & Holmes, K.C. (1990) Nature 347, 37-44]. The root-mean-square deviation between this FRET model and the crystal structure was about 0.9 nm. Other macromolecular models assembled from FRET measurements are likely to have a similar resolution. The largest discrepancy was for the Cys10 locus which deviated 1.44 nm from the crystal position. We discuss the limitations of the FRET method that may have contributed to this discrepancy, and conclude that the Cys10 FRET data have probably located Cys10 incorrectly in the FRET monomer model. Using the FRET monomer models, we found three orientations in the filament which best fit the intermonomer FRET data. These orientations differ substantially from the atomic-resolution filament model proposed by the Heidelberg group [Holmes, K., Popp, D. Gebhard, W. & Kabsch, W. (1990) Nature 347, 44-49], largely because of the discrepancies in the Cys10 data. These data should probably be excluded from the analysis; however, this would leave too few measurements to assemble a filament model. In the near future, we hope to obtain additional FRET measurements to other actin loci so that the filament modelling can be done without the Cys10 data.

*Science > Chemistry
*Science > Physics > Crystallography