Radixin is an actin barbed-end capping protein which is highly concentrated in the undercoat of the cell-to-cell adherens junction and the cleavage furrow in the interphase and mitotic phase, respectively (Tsukita, Sa., Y. Hieda, and Sh. Tsukita. 1989 a.J. Cell Biol. 108:2369-2382; Sato, N., S. Yonemura, T. Obinata, Sa. Tsukita, and Sh. Tsukita. 1991. J. Cell Biol. 113:321-330). To further understand the structure and functions of the radixin molecule, we isolated and sequenced the cDNA clones encoding mouse radixin. Direct peptide sequencing of radixin and immunological analysis with antiserum to a fusion protein were performed to confirm that the protein encoded by these clones is identical to radixin. The composite cDNA is 4,241 nucleotides long and codes for a 583-amino acid polypeptide with a calculated molecular mass of 68.5 kD. Sequence analysis has demonstrated that mouse radixin shares 75.3% identity with human ezrin, which was reported to be a member of the band 4.1 family. We then isolated the cDNA encoding mouse ezrin. Sequence analysis and Northern blot analysis revealed that radixin and ezrin are similar but distinct (74.9% identity), leading us to conclude that radixin is a novel member of the band 4.1 family. In erythrocytes the band 4.1 protein acts as a key protein in the association of short actin filaments with a plasma membrane protein (glycophorin), together with spectrin. Therefore, the sequence similarity between radixin and band 4.1 protein described in this study favors the idea that radixin plays a crucial role in the association of the barbed ends of actin filaments with the plasma membrane in the cell-to-cell adherens junction and the cleavage furrow.

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