UCLA researchers discover that the protein FHOD1 increases the assembly rates of actin

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Professor Margot Quinlan and graduate student Aanand Patel lead UCLA research team to discover new role for the protein involved in muscle function.

Aanand%20Patel%20 %20croppedThey reported on their research in a paper titled “Drosophila and human FHOD family formins nucleate actin filaments”, published in the November 10, 2017 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Co-authors on the paper were NIH postdoctoral scholar and alum Dr.  Zeynep A. Oztug Durer (Ph.D. Biochemistry ’10), UCLA Cell and Developmental Biology graduate student Aaron P. van Loon (Sagasti group), and undergraduate researcher Kathryn V. Bremer. 

To learn more about the Quinlan’s research, visit her group’s website.

From the Daily Bruin (by Joseph Ong – UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry graduate student)

UCLA researchers discover novel role for protein involved in muscles


UCLA researchers have found the protein FHOD1 actually increases the assembly rates of actin, which is a protein involved in muscle contraction and cell connectivity. (Courtesy of Aanand Patel)

In a study published Nov. 10, researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry discovered a new role for the human protein FHOD1 in accelerating the assembly of actin, one of the main proteins in the structure of muscles.

Researchers, led by Aanand Patel, a doctoral student in molecular biology in Prof. Margot Quinlan’s group, demonstrated that FHOD1 is effective in forming an actin cluster but not as effective in making it grow longer. According to the study, researchers said the result was unexpected because other studies had shown that FHOD1 actually decreases rates of actin assembly in rabbits.

To understand FHOD1’s role in actin assembly, the researchers examined individual actin molecules on a microscope slide to count the number of actin molecules growing and calculate their growth rate.

The researchers also found that FHOD1 only accelerated actin assembly for certain kinds of actin not involved in muscle contraction in rabbits. Patel said he thinks other researchers may have overlooked FHOD1’s biological role because proteins similar to FHOD1 usually accelerate actin assembly for actin involved in muscle contraction.