, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 115-130

Actin and the smooth muscle regulatory proteins: a structural perspective

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The structural details of the smooth muscle acto-myosin interaction and its functional implications have been much discussed in recent years, however other, smooth muscle specific, actin-binding proteins have received much less attention. With increasing technical advances in structural biology a great deal of structural information is now coming to light, information that can provide useful insight into the mechanism of action for many important non-motor actin-binding proteins. The purpose of the review is to distil the current knowledge on the structure, and interaction sites on F-actin, of the major, non-motor actin-binding proteins from smooth muscle, proposed to have a role in regulation. In the light of the recent structural studies the probable roles of the various actin-binding proteins will be discussed with particular reference to structure–function relationships.