The actin bundle within each microvillus of the intestinal brush border is tethered laterally to the membrane by spirally arranged bridges. These bridges are thought to be composed of a protein complex consisting of a 110-kD subunit and multiple molecules of bound calmodulin (CM). Recent studies indicate that this complex, termed 110K-CM, is myosin-like with respect to its actin binding and ATPase properties. In this study, possible structural similarity between the 110-kD subunit and myosin was examined using two sets of mAbs; one was generated against Acanthamoeba myosin II and the other against the 110-kD subunit of avian 110K-CM. The myosin II mAbs had been shown previously to be cross-reactive with skeletal muscle myosin, with the epitope(s) localized to the 50-kD tryptic fragment of the subfragment-1 (S1) domain. The 110K mAbs (CX 1-5) reacted with the 110-kD subunit as well as with the heavy chain of skeletal but not with that of smooth or brush border myosin. All five of these 110K mAbs reacted with the 25-kD, NH2-terminal tryptic fragment of chicken skeletal S1, which contains the ATP-binding site of myosin. Similar tryptic digestion of 110K-CM revealed that these five mAbs all reacted with a 36-kD fragment of 110K (as well as larger 90- and 54-kD fragments) which by photoaffinity labeling was shown to contain the ATP-binding site(s) of the 110K subunit. CM binding to these same tryptic digests of 110K-CM revealed that only the 90-kD fragment retained both ATP- and CM-binding domains. CM binding was observed to several tryptic fragments of 60, 40, 29, and 18 kD, none of which contain the myosin head epitopes. These results suggest structural similarity between the 110K and myosin S1, including those domains involved in ATP- and actin binding, and provide additional evidence that 110K-CM is a myosin. These studies also support the results of Coluccio and Bretscher (1988. J. Cell Biol. 106:367-373) that the calmodulin-binding site(s) and the myosin head region of the 110-kD subunit lie in discrete functional domains of the molecule.

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