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Globular G-actin protein polymerizes into filamentous F-actin when supplemented with KCl and MgCl2. F-actin can be stored at 4°C for several weeks with the addition of an antibacterial agent such as 0.05% sodium azide. As F-actin is relatively stable in comparison to G-actin, actin is preferably stored in its polymerized form. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and dithiothreitol (DTT) must also be included and the pH range kept between 6.5 and 8.5.
Dilute the resuspended actin protein to 0.4 mg/ml with Actin Working Buffer. Add ATP to 0.2 mM and DTT to 0.5 mM.
Incubate the reconstituted actin protein on ice for 1 hour to depolymerize any actin oligomers.
Assemble the polymerization reaction by adding 1/10th volume Actin Polymer Buffer (10X) to the clarified actin protein on ice. Add ATP to 1 mM.
Incubate the polymerization reaction at room temperature for 1 hour.
The F-actin is now ready for experimental use and can be stored at 4°C for several weeks with the addition of 0.05% sodium azide.