Cryo-EM of human Arp2/3 complexes provides structural insights into actin nucleation modulation by ARPC5 isoforms.Biol Open. 2020 Jul 31; 9(7)BO
The Arp2/3 complex regulates many cellular processes by stimulating formation of branched actin filament networks. Because three of its seven subunits exist as two different isoforms, mammals produce a family of Arp2/3 complexes with different properties that may be suited to different physiological contexts. To shed light on how isoform diversification affects Arp2/3 function, we determined a 4.2 Å resolution cryo-EM structure of the most active human Arp2/3 complex containing ARPC1B and ARPC5L, and compared it with the structure of the least active ARPC1A-ARPC5-containing complex. The architecture of each isoform-specific Arp2/3 complex is the same. Strikingly, however, the N-terminal half of ARPC5L is partially disordered compared to ARPC5, suggesting that this region of ARPC5/ARPC5L is an important determinant of complex activity. Confirming this idea, the nucleation activity of Arp2/3 complexes containing hybrid ARPC5/ARPC5L subunits is higher when the ARPC5L N-terminus is present, thereby providing insight into activity differences between the different Arp2/3 complexes.