We have studied the effect of the Dictyostelium discoideum 30,000-D actin-bundling protein on the assembly and disassembly of pyrenyl-labeled actin in vitro. The results indicate that the protein is a potent inhibitor of the rate of actin depolymerization. The inhibition is rapid, dose dependent, and is observed at both ends of the filament. There is little effect of 30-kD protein on the initial rate of elongation from F-actin seeds or on the spontaneous nucleation of actin polymerization. We could detect little or no effect on the critical concentration. The novel feature of these results is that the filament ends are free for assembly but are significantly impaired in disassembly with little change in the critical concentration at steady state. The effects appear to be largely independent of the cross-linking of actin filaments by the 30-kD protein. Actin cross-linking proteins may not only cross-link actin filaments, but may also differentially protect filaments in cells from disassembly and promote the formation of localized filament arrays with enhanced stability.

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