Activated forms of the GTPases, Rac and Cdc42, are known to stimulate formation of microfilament-rich lamellipodia and filopodia, respectively, but the underlying mechanisms have remained obscure. We now report the purification and characterization of a protein, IQGAP1, which is likely to mediate effects of these GTPases on microfilaments. Native IQGAP1 purified from bovine adrenal comprises two ≃190-kD subunits per molecule plus substoichiometric calmodulin. Purified IQGAP1 bound directly to F-actin and cross-linked the actin filaments into irregular, interconnected bundles that exhibited gel-like properties. Exogenous calmodulin partially inhibited binding of IQGAP1 to F-actin, and was more effective in the absence, than in the presence of calcium. Immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated cytochalasin D-sensitive colocalization of IQGAP1 with cortical microfilaments. These results, in conjunction with prior evidence that IQGAP1 binds directly to activated Rac and Cdc42, suggest that IQGAP1 serves as a direct molecular link between these GTPases and the actin cytoskeleton, and that the actin-binding activity of IQGAP1 is regulated by calmodulin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology