The gelation induced by warming (to 25 degrees C) the 100,000 g supernatant fraction (extract) of HeLa cells lysed in a buffer containing sucrose, ATP, DTE, EGTA, imidazole, and Triton X-100 was studied in the presence of myosin and heavy meromyosin (HMM). Myosin mixed with extract induces shrinkage of the gel, but jelled extract or myosin alone does not shrink. In the concentration range, 0.14-1.04 mg/ml of myosin, the degree of shrinkage is roughly proportional to the concentration of myosin. Supplementa MgCl2 also promotes shrinkage. HMM (0.4-0.8 mg/ml) can inhibit gel formation by extract in tubes or floated on a sucrose cushion. Gel electrophoresis of gels shrunken by added myosin or electrophoresis of the proteins which can be sedimented from extract after incubation in the presence of HMM indicate that both myosin and HMM interfere with the changes in sedimentability of the high molecular weight protein (HMWP) thought to participate (together with actin) in gel formation in HeLa cell extracts (R. R. Weihing, 1976. J. Cell Biol. 71:303-307). These results, together with previous results showing that actin is present and that HMWP is enriched in the plasma membrane fraction of HeLa cells (R. R. Weihing, 1976. Cold Spring Harbor Conf. Cell Proliferation. 3:671-684), point to the possibility of dynamic changes in the interactions of HMWP or myosin with actin in processes of movement occurring at the cell surface.

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