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    3D Reconstruction of Mammalian Septin Filaments

    Lukoyanova, Natalya and Baldwin, S.A. and Trinick, J. (2008) 3D Reconstruction of Mammalian Septin Filaments. Journal of Molecular Biology 376 (1), pp. 1-7. ISSN 0022-2836.

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    Mammalian septins are a family of guanosine triphosphate-binding proteins thought to play a role in a number of key cellular processes, such as cytokinesis, protein scaffolding and vesicle trafficking. Although their precise functions remain to be determined, electron microscopy has shown septin filament formation in vitro and a role as a cytoskeletal polymer has been proposed. Here, we present a 3D reconstruction of septin filaments determined using electron microscopy of negatively stained specimens and single-particle image processing. Septin was isolated from rat brain as an approximately 240-kDa complex, from which immunoblotting and N-terminal sequencing identified the major components as septins 3, 5 and 7. Electron microscopy and single-particle analysis indicated that the majority of the septin filaments were ∼ 27 nm long. A comparison of 3D volumes obtained using two independent starting models (a row of spheres or a helix) and projection matching techniques revealed no major differences at the final resolution of 27 Å, and this structure was highly reproducible when the entire procedure was repeated several times. The reconstruction revealed three apparent subunits, each separated by a cleft; these subunits were similar, but not identical, possibly indicating multiple isoforms within each filament. In some views a smaller cleft appeared to separate the subunits into two smaller regions, perhaps reflecting the presence of septin dimers. This is the first 3D reconstruction of the native septin assembly, and appears compatible with the hypothesis that the septin complex is a hexamer consisting of dimers or heterotrimers. Further investigations are necessary to confirm how the structure of the filaments determined in the present study correlates with the roles of septins in vivo.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): septin filaments, mammalian, electron microscopy, single particle, 3D reconstruction
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2015 07:12
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:15


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