When L929 cells are exposed to 5 μg/ml dexamethasone, synthesis of a 90,000 M(r) polypeptide is induced within 12 h. Flattening of the cells begins at about this time and progresses to become quite prominent after 48 h of exposure. Two-dimensional PAGE and partial proteolytic fingerprints identify the 90,000 M(r) polypeptide as gelsolin, a Ca(++)-dependent inhibitor of actin polymerization. Thus, this system provides evidence that gelsolin may have a role in regulating cell shape in response to physiological agents such as glucocorticoids.

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