WIP, a protein associated with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein, induces actin polymerization and redistribution in lymphoid cells.
Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is an X-linked immunodeficiency caused by mutations that affect the WAS protein (WASP) and characterized by cytoskeletal abnormalities in hematopoietic cells. By using the yeast two-hybrid system we have identified a proline-rich WASP-interacting protein (WIP), which coimmunoprecipitated with WASP from lymphocytes. WIP binds to WASP at a site distinct from the Cdc42 binding site and has actin as well as profilin binding motifs. Expression of WIP in human B cells, but not of a WIP truncation mutant that lacks the actin binding motif, increased polymerized actin content and induced the appearance of actin-containing cerebriform projections on the cell surface. These results suggest that WIP plays a role in cortical actin assembly that may be important for lymphocyte function.