Spectrin functions upstream of ankyrin in a spectrin cytoskeleton assembly pathway
Dubreuil, Ronald R
PublisherRockefeller University Press
MetadataShow full item record
Prevailing models place spectrin downstream of ankyrin in a pathway of assembly and function in polarized cells. We used a transgene rescue strategy in Drosophila melanogaster to test contributions of four specific functional sites in beta spectrin to its assembly and function. (1) Removal of the pleckstrin homology domain blocked polarized spectrin assembly in midgut epithelial cells and was usually lethal. (2) A point mutation in the tetramer formation site, modeled after a hereditary elliptocytosis mutation in human erythrocyte spectrin, had no detectable effect on function. (3) Replacement of repetitive segments 4 - 11 of beta spectrin with repeats 2 - 9 of a spectrin abolished function but did not prevent polarized assembly. (4) Removal of the putative ankyrinbinding site had an unexpectedly mild phenotype with no detectable effect on spectrin targeting to the plasma membrane. The results suggest an alternate pathway in which spectrin directs ankyrin assembly and in which some important functions of spectrin are independent of ankyrin.
pleckstrin homology domain
axon initial segments