Catastrophic disassembly of actin filaments via Mical-mediated oxidation

Elena E. Grintsevich, Peng Ge, Michael R. Sawaya, Hunkar Gizem Yesilyurt, Jonathan R. Terman, Z. Hong Zhou, Emil Reisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Actin filament assembly and disassembly are vital for cell functions. MICAL Redox enzymes are important post-translational effectors of actin that stereo-specifically oxidize actin's M44 and M47 residues to induce cellular F-actin disassembly. Here we show that Mical-oxidized (Mox) actin can undergo extremely fast (84 subunits/s) disassembly, which depends on F-actin's nucleotide-bound state. Using near-atomic resolution cryoEM reconstruction and single filament TIRF microscopy we identify two dynamic and structural states of Mox-actin. Modeling actin's D-loop region based on our 3.9 Å cryoEM reconstruction suggests that oxidation by Mical reorients the side chain of M44 and induces a new intermolecular interaction of actin residue M47 (M47-O-T351). Site-directed mutagenesis reveals that this interaction promotes Mox-actin instability. Moreover, we find that Mical oxidation of actin allows for cofilin-mediated severing even in the presence of inorganic phosphate. Thus, in conjunction with cofilin, Mical oxidation of actin promotes F-actin disassembly independent of the nucleotide-bound state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2183
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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