The Mechanism of Force Generation in Myosin: a Disorder-to-Order Transition, Coupled to Internal Structural Changes Essay

Submitted By savvysioux
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ABSTRACT We propose a molecular mechanism of force generation in muscle, based primarily on site-specific spectroscopic probe studies of myosin heads in contracting muscle fibers and myofibrils. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and timeresolved phosphorescence anisotropy (TPA) of probes attached to SH1 (Cys 707, in the catalytic domain of the head) have consistently shown that most myosin heads in contracting muscle are dynamically disordered, undergoing large-amplitude rotations in the ps time range. Some of these disordered heads are bound to actin, especially in the early (weak-binding, preforce) phase of the ATPase cycle. The small ordered population (10-20%) is rigidly oriented precisely as in rigor, with no other distinct angle observed in contraction or in the presence of intermediate states trapped by nucleotide analogs. These results are not consistent with the classical model in which the entire head undergoes a 450 transition between two distinct orientations.
Therefore, it has been proposed that the catalytic domain of the myosin head has only one stereospecific (rigor-like) actin-binding angle, and that the head's internal structure changes during force generation, causing the distal light-chain-binding domain to rotate. To test this model, we have performed EPR and TPA studies of probes attached to regulatory light chains (RLCs) in rabbit and scallop myofibrils and fibers. The RLC results confirm the predominance of dynamic (ps) rotational disorder in both relaxation and contraction, and show that the different mechanisms of calcium…