European journal of cell biology

Vertebrate Arp6, a novel nuclear actin-related protein, interacts with heterochromatin protein 1.

PMID 16487625


Actin-related proteins (Arps) were recently shown to contribute to the organization and regulation of chromatin structures. The nuclear functions of Arps have been investigated principally in budding yeast in which six of the ten Arp subfamilies are localized in the nucleus. In vertebrates, only two isoforms of Arp4 have so far been identified as showing localization to the nucleus. Here we show the predominant nuclear localization of another Arp subfamily, Arp6, in vertebrate cells. Vertebrate Arp6 directly interacted with heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) orthologs and the two proteins colocalized in pericentric heterochromatin. Yeast Arp6 is involved in telomere silencing, while Drosophila Arp6 is localized in the pericentric heterochromatin. Our data strongly suggest that Arp6 has an evolutionarily conserved role in heterochromatin formation and also provide new insights into the molecular organization of heterochromatin.