We recently described the isolation of mutant KB cells (Cyt 1 cells) resistant to the cytotoxic effect of cytochalasin B (CB). This mutant carried an altered beta-actin; i.e., beta'-actin (Toyama, S., and S. Toyama. 1984. Cell. 37:609-614). In the present study, we have examined the functional properties of actin in Cyt 1 cells. Our results showed that increased resistance of Cyt 1 cells to CB was reflected in altered properties of beta'-actin itself. This was shown directly by two findings. First, the polymerization of beta'-actin was more resistant than that of beta- or gamma-actin to the multiple effects of CB. Second, beta'-actin bound less CB than beta- or gamma-actin. The functional alteration of beta'-actin in Cyt 1 cells was further supported by the observation that, although treatment of KB cells with CB increased the pool of unpolymerized actin, the same treatment did not affect the pool of unpolymerized actin in Cyt 1 cells, and that microfilaments of Cyt 1 cells were more resistant to the disrupting action of CB than those of KB cells. These results strongly suggest that the primary site of action of CB on cell motility processes is actin.

This content is only available as a PDF.