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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 16;107(11):5001-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0909636107. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Atomically detailed simulation of the recovery stroke in myosin by Milestoning.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C0200, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


Myosin II is a molecular motor that converts chemical to mechanical energy and enables muscle operations. After a power stroke, a recovery transition completes the cycle and returns the molecular motor to its prestroke state. Atomically detailed simulations in the framework of the Milestoning theory are used to calculate kinetics and mechanisms of the recovery stroke. Milestoning divides the process into transitions between hyper-surfaces (Milestones) along a reaction coordinate. Decorrelation of dynamics between sequential Milestones is assumed, which speeds up the atomically detailed simulations by a factor of millions. Two hundred trajectories of myosin with explicit water solvation are used to sample transitions between sequential pairs of Milestones. Collective motions of hundreds of atoms are described at atomic resolution and at the millisecond time scale. The experimentally measured transition time of about a millisecond is in good agreement with the computed time. The simulations support a sequential mechanism. In the first step the P-loop and switch 2 close on the ATP and in the second step the mechanical relaxation is induced via the relay and the SH1 helices. We propose that the entropy of switch 2 helps to drive the power stroke. Secondary structure elements are progressing through a small number of discrete states in a network of activated transitions and are assisted by side chain flips between rotameric states. The few-state sequential mechanism is likely to enhance the efficiency of the relaxation reducing the probability of off-pathway intermediates.

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