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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jan 2;110(1):E23-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1219713110. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

Regulation of the actin-activated MgATPase activity of Acanthamoeba myosin II by phosphorylation of serine 639 in motor domain loop 2.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


It had been proposed previously that only filamentous forms of Acanthamoeba myosin II have actin-activated MgATPase activity and that this activity is inhibited by phosphorylation of up to four serine residues in a repeating sequence in the C-terminal nonhelical tailpiece of the two heavy chains. We have reinvestigated these issues using recombinant WT and mutant myosins. Contrary to the earlier proposal, we show that two nonfilamentous forms of Acanthamoeba myosin II, heavy meromyosin and myosin subfragment 1, have actin-activated MgATPase that is down-regulated by phosphorylation. By mass spectroscopy, we identified five serines in the heavy chains that can be phosphorylated by a partially purified kinase preparation in vitro and also are phosphorylated in endogenous myosin isolated from the amoebae: four serines in the nonhelical tailpiece and Ser639 in loop 2 of the motor domain. S639A mutants of both subfragment 1 and full-length myosin had actin-activated MgATPase that was not inhibited by phosphorylation of the serines in the nonhelical tailpiece or their mutation to glutamic acid or aspartic acid. Conversely, S639D mutants of both subfragment 1 and full-length myosin were inactive, irrespective of the phosphorylation state of the serines in the nonhelical tailpiece. To our knowledge, this is the first example of regulation of the actin-activated MgATPase activity of any myosin by modification of surface loop 2.

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