Chromaffin cells, secretory cells of the adrenal medulla, have been shown to contain actin and other contractile proteins, which might be involved in the secretory process. Actin and Ca++-sensitive actin-binding proteins were purified from bovine adrenal medulla on affinity columns using DNase-I as a ligand. Buffers that contained decreasing Ca++ concentrations were used to elute three major proteins of 93, 91, and 85 kD. The bulk of the actin was eluted with guanidine-HCl buffer plus some 93- and 91-kD proteins. These Ca++-sensitive regulatory proteins were shown to inhibit the gelation of actin using the low-shear falling ball viscometer and by electron microscopy. Actin filaments were found to be shortened by fragmentation. Using antibody raised against rabbit lung macrophage gelsolin, proteolytic digestion with Staphylococcus V8 protease and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, the 91-kD actin-binding protein was shown to be a gelsolin-like protein. The 93-kD actin-binding protein also showed cross-reactivity with anti-gelsolin antibody, similar peptide maps, and a basic-shift in pHi indicating that this 93-kD protein is a brevin-like protein, derived from blood present abundantly in adrenal medulla. Purification from isolated chromaffin cells demonstrated the presence of 91- and 85-kD proteins, whereas the 93-kD protein was hardly detectable. The 85-kD protein is not a breakdown product of brevin-like or gelsolin-like proteins. It did not cross-react with anti-gelsolin antibody and showed a very different peptide map after mild digestion with V8 protease. Antibodies were raised against the 93- and 91-kD actin-binding proteins and the 85-kD actin-binding protein. Antibody against the 85-kD protein did not cross-react with 93- and 91-kD proteins and vice versa. In vivo, the cytoskeleton organization of chromaffin secretory cells is not known, but appears to be under the control of the intracellular concentration of free calcium. The ability of calcium to activate the gelsolin-like protein, and as shown elsewhere to alter fodrin localization, provides a mechanism for gel-sol transition that might be essential for granule movement and membrane-membrane interactions involved in the secretory process.

This content is only available as a PDF.