Actinin is a microfilament protein. α-Actinin is necessary for the attachment of actin filaments to the Z-lines in skeletal muscle cells, and to the dense bodies in smooth muscle cells. The functional protein is an anti-parallel dimer, which cross-links the thin filaments in adjacent sarcomeres, and therefore coordinates contractions between sarcomeres in the horizontal axis.
The non-sarcomeric α-actinins, encoded by ACTN1 and ACTN4, are widely expressed. ACTN2 expression is found in both cardiac and skeletal muscle, whereas ACTN2 is limited to the latter. Both ends of the rod-shaped α-actinin dimer contain actin-binding domains.
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- Richard P. Lifton; Stefan Somlo; Gerhard H. Giebisch; Donald W. Seldin (25 February 2009). Genetic Diseases of the Kidney. Academic Press. pp. 117–118. ISBN 978-0-08-092427-4.
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