Structure of the α-actinin-vinculin head domain complex determined by cryo-electron microscopy

Deborah F. Kelly, Dianne W. Taylor, Constantina Bakolitsa, Andrey A. Bobkov, Laurie Bankston, Robert C. Liddington, Kenneth A. Taylor

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34 Scopus citations


The vinculin binding site on α-actinin was determined by cryo-electron microscopy of 2D arrays formed on phospholipid monolayers doped with a nickel chelating lipid. Chicken smooth muscle α-actinin was cocrystallized with the β1-integrin cytoplasmic domain and a vinculin fragment containing residues 1-258 (vinculinD1). Vinculin D1 was located at a single site on α-actinin with 60-70% occupancy. In these arrays, α-actinin lacks molecular 2-fold symmetry and the two ends of the molecule, which contain the calmodulin-like and actin binding domains, are held in distinctly different environments. The vinculinD1 difference density has a shape very suggestive of the atomic structure. The atomic model of the complex juxtaposes the α-actinin binding site on vinculinD1 with the N-terminal lobe of the calmodulin-like domain on α-actinin. The results show that the interaction between two species with weak affinity can be visualized in a membrane-like environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-573
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 24 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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