, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 293-301

The action of brevin, an F-actin severing protein, on the mechanical properties and ATPase activity of skinned smooth muscle

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Brevin is a protein which regulates the actin gel-sol transformation: it severs F-actin filaments into shorter ones. This action is Ca-dependent and is prevented by tropomyosin. We tested the effect of brevin on isometric contractions of skinned smooth muscle (taenia coli) and noted a dramatic loss of tension that possibly reflects some F-actin fragmentation. This effect is tentatively attributed to a partial loss of tropomyosin in the skinning procedure. We also studied the effect of brevin on unloaded shortenings of skinned preparations: thin bundles and enzymatically dissociated cells. We observed a marked increase of the velocity of shortening in the presence of brevin. This effect cannot be attributed to an increased ATPase activity as the latter is slightly reduced in the presence of brevin. We interpret this result as reflecting a decrease in internal resistance to movement, possibly by solation of an actin-filamin domain.