The microvillus cytoskeleton, isolated from chicken intestinal epithelial cell brush borders, is known to contain five major protein components, the 110,000-dalton polypeptide, villin (95,000 daltons), fimbrin (68,000 daltons), actin (43,000 daltons), and calmodulin (17,000 daltons). In this paper we describe our first step in studying the minor components of the isolated core. We have so far identified and purified an 80,000-dalton polypeptide that was present in the isolated structure in approximately 0.7% the molar abundance of actin. Antibodies to the 80,000-dalton component did not react with other microvillus core proteins, and, when used in indirect immunofluorescence microscopy, they stained the microvilli of intestinal epithelial cells fixed in situ. The 80,000-dalton component therefore appears to be a newly-identified, authentic component of intestinal microvilli in vivo and of isolated microvillus cores. Immunological studies demonstrate that the 80,000-dalton component is widely distributed in nonmuscle cells. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy reveals that it is particularly enriched in surface structures, such as blebs, microvilli, and retraction fibers of cultured cells.

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