The bundle of filaments within the intestinal microvillus contains four major polypeptides in addition to actin calmodulin, a 70-kdalton subunit and two polypeptides with molecular masses similar to that of the Z-line component alpha-actinin (95 and 105 kdaltons). Two-dimensional mapping of tryptic peptides indicates that (a) alpha-actinins from chicken skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle are similar but not identical proteins and that skeletal alpha-actinin in more similar to the cardiac subunit than to the alpha-actinin from gizzard; (b) the brush-border 95- and 105-kdalton subunits are closely related to each other, but the smaller subunit is not a proteolytic fragment of the 105-kdalton subunit; and (c) although there is considerable peptide overlap between the brush-border subunits and the three alpha-actinins, the peptide maps of the 95- and 105-kdalton proteins are substantially distinct from the various alpha-actinin maps, suggesting that neither brush-border subunit is a bona fide alpha-actinin. Nevertheless, on the basis of peptide mapping criteria alone, one cannot exclude the possibility that the brush-border subunits are "alpha-actinin-like." However, there is no immunological cross-reactivity between the brush-border subunits and alpha-actinins, using antibodies prepared against gizzard alpha actinin.

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