Actin-based gels were prepared from clarified high-salt extracts of human platelets by dialysis against physiological salt buffers. The gel was partially solubilized with 0.3 M KCl. Mice were immunized with the 0.3 M KCl extract of the actin gel, and hybridomas were produced by fusion of spleen cells with myeloma cells. Three hybridomas were generated that secrete antibodies against an 80-kD protein. These monoclonal antibodies stained stress fibers in cultured cells and cross-reacted with proteins in several tissue types, including smooth muscle. The cross-reacting protein in chicken gizzard smooth muscle had an apparent molecular weight of 140,000 and was demonstrated to be caldesmon, a calmodulin and actin-binding protein (Sobue, K., Y. Muramoto, M. Fujita, and S. Kakiuchi, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 78:5652-5655). No proteins of molecular weight greater than 80 kD were detectable in platelets by immunoblotting using the monoclonal antibodies. The 80-kD protein is heat stable and was purified using modifications of the procedure reported by Bretscher for the rapid purification of smooth muscle caldesmon (Bretscher, A., 1985, J. Biol. Chem., 259:12873-12880). The 80-kD protein bound to calmodulin-Sepharose in a Ca++-dependent manner and sedimented with actin filaments, but did not greatly increase the viscosity of F-actin solutions. The actin-binding activity was inhibited by calmodulin in the presence of calcium. Except for the molecular weight difference, the 80-kD platelet protein appears functionally similar to 140-kD smooth muscle caldesmon. We propose that the 80-kD protein is platelet caldesmon.
Gelsolin is a 90,000-mol-wt Ca2+-binding, actin-associated protein that can nucleate actin filament growth, sever filaments, and cap barbed filament ends. Brevin is a closely related 92,000-mol-wt plasma protein with similar properties. Gelsolin has been reported to be localized on actin filaments in stress fibers, in cardiac and skeletal muscle I-bands, and in cellular regions where actin filaments are known to be concentrated. Previous localization studies have used sera or antibody preparations that contain brevin. Using purified brevin-free IgG and IgA monoclonal antibodies or affinity-purified polyclonal antibodies for gelsolin and brevin, we find no preferential stress fiber staining in cultured human fibroblasts or I-band staining in isolated rabbit skeletal muscle sarcomeres. Cardiac muscle frozen sections show no pronounced I-band staining, except in local areas where brevin may have penetrated from adjacent blood vessels. Spreading platelets show endogenous gelsolin localized at the cell periphery, in the central cytoplasmic mass and on thin fibers that radiate from the central cytoplasm. Addition of 3-30 micrograms/ml of brevin to the antibodies restores intense stress fiber and I-band staining. We see no evidence for large-scale severing and removal of filaments in stress fibers in formaldehyde-fixed, acetone-permeabilized cells even at brevin concentrations of 30 micrograms/ml. The added brevin or brevin antibody complex binds to actin filaments and is detected by the fluorescently tagged secondary antibody. Brevin binding occurs in either Ca2+ or EGTA, but is slightly more intense in EGTA suggesting some severing and filament removal may occur in Ca2+. The I-band staining is limited to the region where actin and myosin do not overlap. In addition, brevin does not appear to bind at the Z-line. A comparison of cells double-labeled with fluorescein-phallotoxin, exogenous brevin, and a monoclonal antibody, detected with a rhodamine-labeled secondary antibody, shows almost complete co-localization of F-actin with the brevin-gelsolin-binding sites. A major exception is in the area of the adhesion plaque. A quantitative comparison of the fluorescein-rhodamine fluorescence intensities along a stress fiber and into the adhesion plaque shows that the fluorescein signal, associated with F-actin, increases while the rhodamine signal decreases. We infer that exogenous brevin or endogenous gelsolin can bind to and potentially sever most actin filaments, but that actin-associated proteins in the adhesion plaque can prevent binding and severing.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
A 130,000 Mr protein was isolated from human platelets by sequential DEAE-Sephacel and Sepharose Cl-4B chromatography. Low shear viscometric measurements showed that the enriched protein after DEAE-Sephacel chromatography inhibited actin polymerization. This effect was somewhat greater in the presence of EGTA than in the presence of calcium. Further purification by Sepharose Cl-4B chromatography resulted in a complete loss of this inhibitory effect. Studies with fluorescent actin detected no nucleation or "+" end capping activity in either the DEAE-Sephacel- or Sepharose Cl-4B-purified vinculin. Antibodies raised in mice against the 130,000-mol-wt protein were shown to cross-react with chicken gizzard vinculin and a similar molecular weight protein was detected in WI38 cells and, Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Lysis experiments with the Madin-Darby canine kidney cells indicated that most of the vinculin was soluble in Triton X-100, although some was found associated with the insoluble cytoskeletal residue. By immunofluorescence, vinculin in WI38 cells was localized to adhesion plaques as described by others. Discrete localization in platelets was also detected and appeared to depend on their state of adhesion and spreading. The results of these experiments suggest that human platelets contain a protein similar to vinculin. It is not clear if platelet vinculin is associated with structures analogous to adhesion plaques found in other cell types. The data indicate that the previously reported effects of nonmuscle vinculins on actin polymerization may be due to a contaminant or contaminants.