The 110K-calmodulin complex isolated from intestinal microvilli is an ATPase consisting of one polypeptide chain of 110 kD in association with three to four calmodulin molecules. This complex is presumably the link between the actin filaments in the microvillar core and the surrounding cell membrane. To study its structural regions, we have partially cleaved the 110K-calmodulin complex with alpha-chymotrypsin; calmodulin remains essentially intact under the conditions used. As determined by 125I-calmodulin overlays, ion exchange chromatography, and actin-binding assays, a 90-kD digest fragment generated in EGTA remains associated with calmodulin. The 90K-calmodulin complex binds actin in an ATP-reversible manner and decorates actin filaments with an arrow-head appearance similar to that found after incubation of F-actin with the parent complex; binding occurs in either calcium- or EGTA-containing buffers. ATPase activity of the 90-kD digest closely resembles the parent complex. In calcium a digest mixture containing fragments of 78 kD, a group of three at approximately 40 kD, and a 32-kD fragment (78-kD digest mixture) is generated with alpha-chymotrypsin at a longer incubation time; no association of these fragments with calmodulin is observed. Time courses of digestions and cyanogen bromide cleavage indicate that the 78-kD fragment derives from the 90-kD peptide. The 78-kD mixture can also hydrolyze ATP. Furthermore, removal of the calmodulin by ion exchange chromatography from this 78-kD mixture had no effect on the ATPase activity of the digest, indicating that the ATPase activity resides on the 110-kD polypeptide. The 78 kD, two of the three fragments at approximately 40 kD, and the 32-kD fragments associate with F-actin in an ATP-reversible manner. Electron microscopy of actin filaments after incubation with the 78-kD digest mixture reveals coated filaments, although the prominent arrowhead appearance characteristic of the parent complex is not observed. These data indicate that calmodulin is not required either for the ATPase activity or the ATP-reversible binding of the 110K-calmodulin complex to F-actin. In addition, since all the fragments that bind F-actin do so in an ATP-reversible manner, the sites required for F-actin binding and ATP reversibility likely reside nearby.

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