To test the idea that cytochalasin retards actin assembly by binding to filament ends, we have designed a new assay for cytochalasin binding in which the number of filament ends can be varied independently of the total actin concentration. Actin is reacted with polylysine-coated polystyrene beads to make filament ends (Brown and Spudich, 1979, J. Cell Biol. 80:499-504) and then reacted with [3H]cytochalasin B. We have found that cytochalasin B binds to beads in the presence of actin, and that the number of cytochalasin B binding sites can be varied as a function of the number of filament ends independent of the total actin concentration by varying the bead concentration.

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