Actin-based gels were prepared from clarified high-salt extracts of human platelets by dialysis against physiological salt buffers. The gel was partially solubilized with 0.3 M KCl. Mice were immunized with the 0.3 M KCl extract of the actin gel, and hybridomas were produced by fusion of spleen cells with myeloma cells. Three hybridomas were generated that secrete antibodies against an 80-kD protein. These monoclonal antibodies stained stress fibers in cultured cells and cross-reacted with proteins in several tissue types, including smooth muscle. The cross-reacting protein in chicken gizzard smooth muscle had an apparent molecular weight of 140,000 and was demonstrated to be caldesmon, a calmodulin and actin-binding protein (Sobue, K., Y. Muramoto, M. Fujita, and S. Kakiuchi, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 78:5652-5655). No proteins of molecular weight greater than 80 kD were detectable in platelets by immunoblotting using the monoclonal antibodies. The 80-kD protein is heat stable and was purified using modifications of the procedure reported by Bretscher for the rapid purification of smooth muscle caldesmon (Bretscher, A., 1985, J. Biol. Chem., 259:12873-12880). The 80-kD protein bound to calmodulin-Sepharose in a Ca++-dependent manner and sedimented with actin filaments, but did not greatly increase the viscosity of F-actin solutions. The actin-binding activity was inhibited by calmodulin in the presence of calcium. Except for the molecular weight difference, the 80-kD platelet protein appears functionally similar to 140-kD smooth muscle caldesmon. We propose that the 80-kD protein is platelet caldesmon.

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