The PDZ-LIM family of proteins (Enigma/LMP-1, ENH, ZASP/Cypher, RIL, ALP, and CLP-36) has been suggested to act as adapters that direct LIM-binding proteins to the cytoskeleton. Most interactions of PDZ-LIM proteins with the cytoskeleton have been identified in striated muscle, where several PDZ-LIM proteins are predominantly expressed. By contrast, CLP-36 mRNA is expressed in several nonmuscle tissues, and here we demonstrate high expression of CLP-36 in epithelial cells by in situ hybridization analysis. Our subcellular localization studies indicate that in nonmuscle cells, CLP-36 protein localizes to actin stress fibers. This localization is mediated via the PDZ domain of CLP-36 that associates with the spectrin-like repeats of alpha-actinin. Interestingly, immunoprecipitation and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis indicate that both nonmuscle alpha-actinin-1 and alpha-actinin-4 form complexes with CLP-36. The high expression of alpha-actinin-4 in the colon, together with these results, suggests a specific function for the alpha-actinin-4-CLP-36 complex in the colonic epithelium. More generally, results presented here demonstrate that the association of PDZ-LIM proteins with the cytoskeleton extends to the actin stress fibers of nonmuscle cells.
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