Brain ankyrin. A membrane-associated protein with binding sites for spectrin, tubulin, and the cytoplasmic domain of the erythrocyte anion channel.
Brain ankyrin was purified from pig brain membranes in milligram quantities by a procedure involving affinity chromatography on erythrocyte spectrinagarose. Brain ankyrin included two polypeptides of Mr = 210,000 and 220,000 that were nearly identical by peptide mapping and were monomers in solution. Brain ankyrin and erythrocyte ankyrin are closely related proteins with the following properties in common: 1) shared antigenic sites, 2) high-affinity binding to the spectrin beta subunit at the midregion of spectrin tetramers, 3) a binding site for the cytoplasmic domain of the erythrocyte anion channel, 4) a binding site for tubulin, 5) a similar domain structure with a protease-resistant domain of Mr = 72,000 that contains the spectrin-binding activity and domains of Mr = 95,000 (brain ankyrin) or 90,000 (erythrocyte ankyrin) that contain binding sites for both tubulin and the anion channel. Brain ankyrin is present at about 100 pmol/mg of membrane protein in demyelinated membranes based on radioimmunoassay with antibody raised against brain ankyrin and affinity purified on brain ankyrin-agarose. Brain spectrin tetramers are present at 30 pmol/mg of membrane protein. Brain ankyrin thus is present in sufficient amounts to attach spectrin to membranes. Brain ankyrin also may attach microtubules to membranes independently of spectrin and has the potential to interconnect microtubules and spectrin-associated actin filaments.
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