Electrophoresis and orientation of F-actin in agarose gels

J. Borejdo, H. Ortega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


F-Actin was electrophoresed on agarose gels. In the presence of 2 mM MgCl2 and above pH 8.5 F-actin entered 1% agarose; when the electric field was 2.1 V/cm and the pH was 8.8, F-actin migrated through a gel as a single band at a rate of 2.5 mm/h. Labeling of actin with fluorophores did not affect its rate of migration, but an increase in ionic strength slowed it down. After the electrophoresis actin was able to bind phalloidin and heavy meromyosin (HMM) and it activated Mg2+-dependent ATPase activity of HMM. The mobility of F-actin increased with the rise in pH. Acto-S-1 complex was also able to migrate in agarose at basic pH, but at a lower rate than F-actin alone. The orientation of fluorescein labeled F-actin and of fluorescein labeled S-1 which formed rigor bonds with F-actin was measured during the electrophoresis by the fluorescence detected linear dichroism method. The former showed little orientation, probably because the dye was mobile on the surface of actin, but we were able to measure the orientation of the absorption dipole of the dye bound to S-1 which was attached to F-actin, and found that it assumed an orientation largely parallel to the direction of the electric field. These results show that actin can migrate in agarose gels in the F form and that it is oriented during the electrophoresis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-293
Number of pages9
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989


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