A 130,000 Mr protein was isolated from human platelets by sequential DEAE-Sephacel and Sepharose Cl-4B chromatography. Low shear viscometric measurements showed that the enriched protein after DEAE-Sephacel chromatography inhibited actin polymerization. This effect was somewhat greater in the presence of EGTA than in the presence of calcium. Further purification by Sepharose Cl-4B chromatography resulted in a complete loss of this inhibitory effect. Studies with fluorescent actin detected no nucleation or "+" end capping activity in either the DEAE-Sephacel- or Sepharose Cl-4B-purified vinculin. Antibodies raised in mice against the 130,000-mol-wt protein were shown to cross-react with chicken gizzard vinculin and a similar molecular weight protein was detected in WI38 cells and, Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Lysis experiments with the Madin-Darby canine kidney cells indicated that most of the vinculin was soluble in Triton X-100, although some was found associated with the insoluble cytoskeletal residue. By immunofluorescence, vinculin in WI38 cells was localized to adhesion plaques as described by others. Discrete localization in platelets was also detected and appeared to depend on their state of adhesion and spreading. The results of these experiments suggest that human platelets contain a protein similar to vinculin. It is not clear if platelet vinculin is associated with structures analogous to adhesion plaques found in other cell types. The data indicate that the previously reported effects of nonmuscle vinculins on actin polymerization may be due to a contaminant or contaminants.

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