Component 8c-1, one of four highly homologous component-8 subunit proteins present in the microfibrils of wool, was isolated as its S-carboxymethyl derivative and its amino acid sequence was determined. Large peptides were isolated after cleaving the protein chemically or enzymically and the sequence of each was determined with an automatic Sequenator. The peptides were ordered by sequence overlaps and, in some instances, by homology with known sequences from other component-8 subunits. The C-terminal residues were identified by three procedures. Full details of the various procedures used have been deposited as Supplementary Publication SUP 50133 (4 pp.) at the British Library Lending Division, Boston Spa, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS23 7BQ, U.K., from whom copies can be obtained on the terms indicated in Biochem. J. (1986) 233, 5. The result showed that the protein comprises 412 residues and has an Mr, including the N-terminal acetyl group, of 48,300. The sequence of residues 98-200 of component 8c-1 was found to correspond to the partial or complete sequences of four homologous type I helical segments previously isolated from helical fragments recovered from chymotryptic digests of microfibrillar proteins of wool [Crewther & Dowling (1971) Appl. Polym. Symp. 18, 1-20; Crewther, Gough, Inglis & McKern (1978) Text. Res. J. 48, 160-162; Gough, Inglis & Crewther (1978) Biochem. J. 173, 385]. Considered in relation to amino acid sequences of other intermediate-filament proteins, the sequence is in accord with the view that keratin filament proteins are of two types [Hanukoglu & Fuchs (1983) Cell (Cambridge, Mass.) 33, 915-924]. Filament proteins from non-keratinous tissues, such as desmin, vimentin, neurofilament proteins and the glial fibrillary acidic protein, which form monocomponent filaments, constitute a third type. It is suggested that as a whole the proteins from intermediate filaments be classed as filamentins, the three types at present identified forming subgroups of this class. The significant homologies between types I, II and III occur almost exclusively in segments of the chain that have been identified as having a coiled-coil structure together with the relatively short sections connecting these segments. The non-coiled-coil segments at the C- and N-termini show no significant homology between types, nor is homology in these segments apparent in all members of one type. Component 8c-1 does not show homology in its terminal segments with the known sequence of any other filamentin.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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