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Keywords:

  • actin;
  • nucleotide states;
  • structure

Abstract

This minireview is dedicated to the memory of Henryk Eisenberg and honors his major contributions to many areas of biophysics and to the analysis of macromolecular states and interactions in particular. This work reviews the ATP and ADP states of a ubiquitous protein, actins, and considers the present evidence for and against unique, nucleotide-dependent conformations of this protein. The effects of ATP and ADP on specific structural elements of actins, its loops and clefts, as revealed by mutational, crosslinking, spectroscopic, and EPR methods are discussed. It is concluded that the existing evidence points to dynamic equilibria of these structural elements among various conformational states in both ATP- and ADP-actins, with the nucleotides impacting the equilibria distributions. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 99: 245–256, 2013.