Differential scanning calorimetry was used to examine the effects of cofilin on the thermal unfolding of actin. Stoichiometric binding increases the thermal stability of both G- and F-actin but at sub-saturating concentrations cofilin destabilizes F-actin. At actin:cofilin molar ratios of 1.5-6 the peaks corresponding to stabilized (66-67°C) and destabilized (56-57°C) F-actin are observed simultaneously in the same thermogram. Destabilizing effects of sub-saturating cofilin are highly cooperative and are observed at actin:cofilin molar ratios as low as 100:1. These effects are abolished by the addition of phalloidin or aluminum fluoride. Conversely, at saturating concentrations, cofilin prevents the stabilizing effects of phalloidin and aluminum fluoride on the F-actin thermal unfolding. These results suggest that cofilin stabilizes those actin subunits to which it directly binds, but destabilizes F-actin with a high cooperativity in neighboring cofilin-free regions.
- ADF, actin depolymerizing factor
- Differential scanning calorimetry
- DSC, differential scanning calorimetry.
- Thermal unfolding