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J Mol Biol. 2001 Jan 26;305(4):863-74.

X-ray diffraction evidence for the lack of stereospecific protein interactions in highly activated actomyosin complex.

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  • 1Experimental Research Division, SPring-8, Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute, Hyogo 679-5198, Japan.


The structure of actomyosin complex while hydrolyzing ATP was investigated by recording X-ray diffraction patterns from rabbit skeletal muscle fibers, in which exogenously introduced rabbit skeletal subfragment-1 (S1) was covalently cross-linked to the endogenous actin filaments in rigor by 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC). Approximately two-thirds of the introduced S1 was cross-linked. The cross-linking procedure did not affect the profile of the S1-induced enhancement of the actin-based layer line reflections in rigor, indicating that the acto-S1 interactions remained highly stereospecific. In the presence of ATP, the MgATPase of the S1 was highly activated regardless of calcium levels, presumably because the availability of the stereospecific binding sites for both proteins was maximized by the cross-linking. However, the diffraction pattern in the presence of ATP was striking in that the intensity profile of the strong 1/5.9 nm(-1) layer lines was indistinguishable from that from bare actin filaments, despite the fact that the majority of the S1 was still associated with actin. The change of the intensity profiles upon addition of ATP was completely reversible. Model calculations showed that this result can be explained if the S1 is not only swinging around its pivoting point, but the pivoting point itself is also moving on the actin surface in a range of a few nanometers. The results suggest that the stereospecific binding sites, which have been considered important for actomyosin cycling, are paradoxically left unoccupied for most of the time in this highly activated actomyosin complex.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

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