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Biophys J. 2005 Aug;89(2):1132-42. Epub 2005 May 13.

Orientation of the myosin light chain region by single molecule total internal reflection fluorescence polarization microscopy.

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Pennsylvania Muscle Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 19104-6083, USA.


To study the orientation and dynamics of myosin, we measured fluorescence polarization of single molecules and ensembles of myosin decorating actin filaments. Engineered chicken gizzard regulatory light chain (RLC), labeled with bisiodoacetamidorhodamine at cysteine residues 100 and 108 or 104 and 115, was exchanged for endogenous RLC in rabbit skeletal muscle HMM or S1. AEDANS-labeled actin, fully decorated with labeled myosin fragment or a ratio of approximately 1:1000 labeled:unlabeled myosin fragment, was adhered to a quartz slide. Eight polarized fluorescence intensities were combined with the actin orientation from the AEDANS fluorescence to determine the axial angle (relative to actin), the azimuthal angle (around actin), and RLC mobility on the <<10 ms timescale. Order parameters of the orientation distributions from heavily labeled filaments agree well with comparable measurements in muscle fibers, verifying the technique. Experiments with HMM provide sufficient angular resolution to detect two orientations corresponding to the two heads in rigor. Experiments with S1 show a single orientation intermediate to the two seen for HMM. The angles measured for HMM are consistent with heads bound on adjacent actin monomers of a filament, under strain, similar to predictions based on ensemble measurements made on muscle fibers with electron microscopy and spectroscopic experiments.

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