Association of brain ankyrin with brain membranes and isolation of active proteolytic fragments of membrane-associated ankyrin-binding protein(s).
An assay has been developed to measure association of brain ankyrin with protein site(s) in brain membranes that are independent of spectrin and tubulin, behave as integral membrane proteins, and appear to be similar in several respects to the erythrocyte anion channel. Brain membranes were depleted of ankyrin, spectrin, and other peripheral membrane proteins by a brief incubation in 0.1 M sodium hydroxide. Binding of ankyrin to these membranes fulfilled experimentally testable criteria for a specific protein-protein association. Binding was optimal at physiological values for ionic strength and pH, was of high affinity (Kd = 20-60 nM), and the capacity of 25 pmol/mg of brain membrane protein is in the same range as the number of spectrin tetramers (30 pmol/mg). The membrane-binding site(s) for brain ankyrin are likely to be related in some way to the cytoplasmic domain of the erythrocyte anion channel since binding was inhibited by the anion channel domain and by erythrocyte ankyrin. The binding site(s) for brain ankyrin were released from the membrane by limited proteolysis as active water-soluble fragments capable of inhibiting binding of ankyrin to membranes. Ankyrin-binding fragments of Mr = 40,000 and 68,000 were selectively bound to an erythrocyte ankyrin affinity column. The fragment of Mr = 40,000 is close to the size of the cytoplasmic domain of the erythrocyte anion channel. It is likely based on these results that membrane attachment proteins for ankyrin are present in brain and other tissues and that these membrane proteins have domains homologous at least in conformation to the ankyrin-binding site of the erythrocyte anion channel.
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