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Biochemistry. 1994 Sep 20;33(37):11286-95.

Extensively methylated myosin subfragment-1: examination of local structure, interactions with nucleotides and actin, and ligand-induced conformational changes.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles 90024, USA.


The atomic structure of myosin subfragment-1 (S1) has been recently solved for crystals of extensively methylated S1 [Rayment et al. (1993) Science 261, 50-58]. In this study, the effect of such a modification on S1 structure and function was examined. According to the far- and near-ultraviolet CD spectra, the methylation does not affect the secondary structure of S1 but causes limited changes in its tertiary structure. The methylation significantly decreases the affinity of S1 for actin in rigor and, to a lesser degree, that of S1 to actin in the presence of MgATP gamma S. This modification, like the trinitrophenylation of Lys-83, accelerates the dissociation of a nucleotide trapped on S1 either by phosphate analogs or by cross-linking of the SH1 and SH2 thiols. Methylation strongly impairs the coupling between the actin- and nucleotide-binding sites as revealed by the reduced effect of actin on the release of epsilon ADP from the active site. It also causes a complete loss of in vitro motility of actin filaments over methylated HMM. In addition to this, methylation also impairs the communication between other sites on S1 including that between the nucleotide-binding site and SH1, and the actin-binding site and the 27/50 kDa junction and a site at 74 kDa from the N-terminus of S1. These changes are revealed in SH1 modification, thermolysin digestion, and vanadate-dependent photocleavage experiments, respectively. The increased rate of thermal denaturation of S1 and the loss of S1 protection by ADP and actin from this process also indicate flawed communications in methylated S1. It is concluded that these relatively mild but numerous and important changes impair the function of methylated S1.

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