A myeloid leukemia cell line, M1, differentiates to macrophage and gains locomotive and phagocytic activity when incubated with conditioned medium (CM) from a fibroblast culture and bacterial endotoxin. To characterize the actin molecules before and after differentiation, the actin was purified through three sequential steps: DEAE-sephadex A- 50, polymerization/depolymerization, and sephadex G-150 chromatography.

There were no essential differences between the inhibitory activity of actins from control M1 cells and CM-treated M1 cells on both DNase I and heavy meromyosin (HMMM) K(+)-EDTA-ATPase; the same dose response as with skeletal muscle actin took place. After the treatment with CM, however, the specific activity for the activation of HMMM Mg(2+)- ATPase by actin became two-fold that of untreated M1 actin, which was one third of the value for skeletal muscle actin. The V(max) for the control and the CM-treated M1 cell, as well as the skeletal muscle actins, proved to be the same. By contrast, the K(app) values for the control and CM-treated M1-cell actins were 3- and 1.5-fold the value for skeletal-muscle actin. This means that CM treatment of the M1 actin produced a twofold affinity for the Mg(2+)-ATPase of skeletal-muscle myosin.

The critical concentrations for polymerization were compared under different salt concentrations and temperatures. Although no marked difference was found for the presence of 2 mM MgCl(2), 0.1 M KCl in place of MgCl(2) at 5 degrees C gave the following values: 0.1 mg/ml for skeletal-muscle actin, 0.7 mg/ml for control M1 actin, 0,5 mg/ml for CM- treated M1 actin, and 1.0 mg/ml for the D(-) subline that is insensitive to CM. Although the critical concentration of D(-) actin is extraordinarily high, this actin showed normal polymerization above the critical concentration. This together with the data presented in our previous paper, that the D(-) actin in the crude extract did not polymerize, suggests that an inhibitor for actin polymerization is present in the subline.

The kinetics experiment at 0.1 M KCl and 25 degrees C revealed a slower polymerization of untreated M1- and D(-)-cell actins as compared with CM-treated M1 actin. This delayed polymerization was due to a delay during the nucleation stage, not during the elongation stage.

By isoelectric focusing, the ratios of β- to γ-actin showed a marked difference depending on the states of cells: about 4.9 for control M1, 2.8 for CM-treated M1, and 7.6 for D(-)-subline actins. Tryptic peptide maps also revealed the presence of different peptides. Thus, the functional differences of actin before and after the differentiation was accompanied by some chemical changes in actin molecules.

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