Structure and mechanism of mouse cyclase-associated protein (CAP1) in regulating actin dynamics [Cell Biology]

September 16th, 2014 by Jansen, S., Collins, A., Golden, L., Sokolova, O., Goode, B. L.

Srv2/CAP is a conserved actin-binding protein with important roles in driving cellular actin dynamics in diverse animal, fungal, and plant species. However, there have been conflicting reports about whether the activities of Srv2/CAP are conserved, particularly between yeast and mammalian homologs. Yeast Srv2 has two distinct functions in actin turnover: its hexameric N-terminal half enhances cofilin-mediated severing of filaments, while its C-terminal half catalyzes dissociation of cofilin from ADP-actin monomers and stimulates nucleotide exchange. Here, we dissected the structure and function of mouse CAP1 to better understand its mechanistic relationship to yeast Srv2. Although CAP1 has a shorter N-terminal oligomerization sequence compared to Srv2, we find that the N-terminal half of CAP1 (N-CAP1) forms hexameric structures with six protrusions, similar to N-Srv2. Further, N-CAP1 autonomously binds to F-actin and decorates the sides and ends of filaments, altering F-actin structure and enhancing cofilin-mediated severing. These activities depend on conserved surface residues on the helical-folded domain. Moreover, N-CAP1 enhances yeast cofilin-mediated severing, and conversely, yeast N-Srv2 enhances human cofilin-mediated severing, highlighting the mechanistic conservation between yeast and mammals. Further, we demonstrate that the C-terminal actin-binding β-sheet domain of CAP1 is sufficient to catalyze nucleotide-exchange of ADP-actin monomers, while in the presence of cofilin this activity additionally requires the WH2 domain. Thus, the structures, activities and mechanisms of mouse and yeast Srv2/CAP homologs are remarkably well conserved, suggesting that the same activities and mechanisms underlie many of the diverse actin-based functions ascribed to Srv2/CAP homologs in different organisms.