In this study we have used several complementary techniques to isolate and characterize a lymphoma membrane-associated 41-kDa protein that shares a number of structural and functional similarities with the alpha i subunit of the guanosine 5'-triphosphate (GTP)-binding protein (e.g., Gi alpha-like protein). In addition, using permeabilized lymphoma cells, we have found that: 1) GTP or GTP-tau-S augments, and pertussis toxin inhibits, phospholipase C (PLC) activity and receptor capping; and 2) the addition of lymphoma 41-kDa Gi alpha-like protein stimulates PLC activity and receptor patching/capping, and reverses the inhibitory effect of pertussis toxin on both activity and receptor patching/capping. Additional cytochemical and biochemical data indicate that the lymphoma 41-kDa protein is closely associated with several cytoskeletal proteins (e.g., actin, myosin, and fodrin) all of which colocalize under receptor cap structures. Furthermore, both the 41-kDa-mediated phospholipase C activity and receptor patching/capping are inhibited by cytochalasin D (a microfilament disrupting drug) and W-7 drug (a calmodulin inhibitor). Together, these data provide strong evidence for a functional association between the lymphoma membrane cytoskeleton and the 41-kDa (Gi alpha-like) protein. Specifically, this association appears to be required for the activation of phospholipase C that results in inositol triphosphate production, subsequent internal Ca2+ release, and finally surface receptor patching and capping.

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