Acanthamoebe profilin has a native molecular weight of 11,700 as measured by sedimentation equilibrium ultracentrifugation and an extinction coefficient at 280 nm of 1.4 X 10(4) M-1cm-1. Rabbit antibodies against Acanthamoeba profilin react only with the 11,700 Mr polypeptide among all other ameba polypeptides separated by electrophoresis. These antibodies react with a 11,700 Mr polypeptide in Physarum but not with any proteins of Dictyostelium or Naeglaria. Antibody-binding assays indicate that approximately 2% of the ameba protein is profilin and that the concentration of profilin is approximately 100 mumol/liter cells. During ion exchange chromatography of soluble extracts of Acanthamoeba on DEAE-cellulose, the immunoreactive profilin splits into two fractions: an unbound fraction previously identified by Reichstein and Korn (1979, J. Biol. Chem., 254:6174-6179) and a tightly bound fraction. Purified profilin from the two fractions is identical by all criteria tested. The tightly bound fraction is likely to be attached indirectly to the DEAE, perhaps by association with actin. By fluorescent antibody staining, profilin is distributed uniformly throughout the cytoplasmic matrix of Acanthamoeba. In 50 mM KCl, high concentrations of Acanthamoeba profilin inhibit the elongation rate of muscle actin filaments measured directly by electron microscopy, but the effect is minimal in KCl with 2 MgCl2. By using the fluorescence change of pyrene-labeled Acanthamoeba actin to assay for polymerization, we confirmed our earlier observation (Tseng, P. C.-H., and T. D. Pollard, 1982, J. Cell Biol. 94:213-218) that Acanthamoeba profilin inhibits nucleation much more strongly than elongation under physiological conditions.

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