Tropomodulin is a newly characterized pointed end capping protein for actin filaments. It binds specifically to the N terminus of tropomyosin and blocks the elongation and depolymerization of tropomyosin-coated actin filaments. A 1.9-kb human tropomodulin cDNA clone was used to map its gene by fluorescence in situ hybridization. The tropomodulin gene was assigned to human chromosome 9q22.2-q22.3, a region that is also known to contain several other genes and disease loci and is proximal to the loci for gelsolin and α- fodrin. The gene for tropomodulin is expressed in major human tissues at different levels in the following order: heart and skeletal muscle much greater than that in brain, lung, and pancreas, which is greater than that in placenta, liver, and kidney. Human tropomodulin and a 64-kDa autoantigen in Graves disease (1D) are related: tropomodulin has 42 and 41% identity with the Graves protein in the N-terminal (69 residue) and C-terminal (194 residue) regions, respectively. The insertion of several homologous repeats in the midsection of the Graves protein, together with the extension of a proline-rich C terminus, accounts for the differences in length between the Graves protein (572 residues) and tropomodulin (359 residues). The significant sequence identity indicates that these two genes are evolved from a common ancestral gene.
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