Open Access Research article

Characterization of the interaction between Actinin-Associated LIM Protein (ALP) and the rod domain of α-actinin

Tuula Klaavuniemi1, Nanna Alho2, Pirta Hotulainen3, Annina Kelloniemi14, Heli Havukainen5, Perttu Permi3, Sampo Mattila2 and Jari Ylänne5*

Author Affiliations

1 Biocenter Oulu and Department of Biochemistry, PO Box 3000, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland

2 Department of Chemistry, PO Box 3000, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland

3 Institute of Biotechnology, PO Box 56, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland

4 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, PO Box 5000, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland

5 Department of Biological and Environmental Science and Nanoscience Center, University of Jyväskylä, PO Box 35, 40014 Jyväskylä, Finland

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BMC Cell Biology 2009, 10:22  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-10-22

Published: 27 March 2009



The PDZ-LIM proteins are a family of signalling adaptors that interact with the actin cross-linking protein, α-actinin, via their PDZ domains or via internal regions between the PDZ and LIM domains. Three of the PDZ-LIM proteins have a conserved 26-residue ZM motif in the internal region, but the structure of the internal region is unknown.


In this study, using circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), we showed that the ALP internal region (residues 107–273) was largely unfolded in solution, but was able to interact with the α-actinin rod domain in vitro, and to co-localize with α-actinin on stress fibres in vivo. NMR analysis revealed that the titration of ALP with the α-actinin rod domain induces stabilization of ALP. A synthetic peptide (residues 175–196) that contained the N-terminal half of the ZM motif was found to interact directly with the α-actinin rod domain in surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurements. Short deletions at or before the ZM motif abrogated the localization of ALP to actin stress fibres.


The internal region of ALP appeared to be largely unstructured but functional. The ZM motif defined part of the interaction surface between ALP and the α-actinin rod domain.