Strongly dominant negative mutant actins, identified by An and Mogami (An, H. S., and Mogami, K. (1996) J. Mol. Biol. 260, 492-505), in the indirect flight muscle of Drosophila impaired its flight, even when three copies of the wild-type gene were present. Understanding how these strongly dominant negative mutant actins disrupt the function of wild-type actin would provide useful information about the molecular mechanism by which actin functions in vivo. Here, we expressed and purified six of these strongly dominant negative mutant actins in Dictyostelium and classified them into three groups based on their biochemical phenotypes. The first group, G156D, G156S, and G268D actins, showed impaired polymerization and a tendency to aggregate under conditions favoring polymerization. G63D actin of the second group was also unable to polymerize but, unlike those in the first group, remained soluble under polymerizing conditions. Kinetic analyses using G63D actin or G63D actin·gelsolin complexes suggested that the pointed end surface is defective, which would alter the polymerization kinetics of wild-type actin when mixed and could affect formation of thin filament structures in indirect flight muscle. The third group, R95C and E226K actins, was normal in terms of polymerization, but their motility on heavy meromyosin surfaces in the presence of tropomyosin-troponin indicated altered sensitivity to Ca2+. Cofilaments in which R95C or E226K actins were copolymerized with a 3-fold excess of wild-type actin also showed altered Ca2+ sensitivity in the presence of tropomyosin-troponin.
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