Vinculin is an adhesion plaque component localized on the cytoplasmic side of the cell membrane where stress fibers end. To detect vinculin-binding proteins, we have developed an 125I-vinculin gel overlay method. SDS PAGE was used to separate different protein preparations. After fixing the proteins in the gel with methanol-acetic acid, the SDS was removed with ethanol and the proteins renatured in buffer. The gel was then incubated with 125I-vinculin. After extensive washing to remove nonspecifically associated label, the gel was dried and autoradiographed. Chick embryo fibroblasts, their Rous sarcoma virus transformants, and HeLa cells were found to contain two proteins (Mr 220,000 and 130,000) that bound 125I-vinculin strongly and another (Mr 42,000) that bound it moderately. The 130,000-mol-wt protein was identified as vinculin itself, which suggests that it may self-associate. The 42,000-mol-wt protein was identified as actin with which vinculin is known to interact. The identity of the 220,000-mol-wt protein is not known. It is not cellular fibronectin, myosin, or filamin. When fibroblast proteins were separated into Triton X-100 soluble and insoluble fractions, most of the vinculin and the 220,000-mol-wt protein was found to be in the soluble fraction. Chicken gizzard also contained these vinculin-binding proteins along with three others of Mr 190,000, 170,000, and 100,000.

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