Calponins are a small family of proteins that alter the interaction between actin and myosin II and mediate signal transduction. These proteins bind F-actin in a complex manner that depends on a variety of parameters such as stoichiometry and ionic strength. Calponin binds G-actin and F-actin, bundling the latter primarily through two distinct and adjacent binding sites (ABS1 and ABS2). Calponin binds other proteins that bind F-actin and considerable disagreements exist as to how calponin is located on the filament, especially in the presence of other proteins. A study (Galkin, V.E., Orlova, A., Fattoum, A., Walsh, M.P. and Egelman, E.H. (2006) J. Mol. Biol. 359, 478-485.), using EM single-particle reconstruction has shown that there may be four modes of interaction, but how these occur is not yet known. We report that two distinct regions of calponin are capable of binding some of the same sites on actin (such as 18-28 and 360-372 in subdomain 1). This accounts for the finding that calponin binds the filament with different apparent geometries. We suggest that the four modes of filament binding account for differences in stoichiometry and that these, in turn, arise from differential binding of the two calponin regions to actin. It is likely that the modes of binding are reciprocally influenced by other actin-binding proteins since members of the cc-actinin group also adopt different actin-binding positions and bind actin principally through a domain that is similar to calponin's ABS1.
- Actin cytoskeleton
- CH domain