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Biophys J. 2006 Nov 15;91(10):3768-75. Epub 2006 Sep 1.

X-ray diffraction studies of the thick filament in permeabilized myocardium from rabbit.

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National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Low angle x-ray diffraction patterns from relaxed permeabilized rabbit cardiac trabeculae and psoas muscle fibers were compared. Temperature was varied from 25 degrees C to 5 degrees C at 200 mM and 50 mM ionic strengths (mu), respectively. Effects of temperature and mu on the intensities of the myosin layer lines (MLL), the equatorial intensity ratio I(1,1)/I(1,0), and the spacing of the filament lattice are similar in both muscles. At 25 degrees C, particularly at mu = 50 mM, the x-ray patterns exhibited up to six orders of MLL and sharp meridional reflections, signifying that myosin heads (cross-bridges) are distributed in a well-ordered helical array. Decreasing temperature reduced MLL intensities but increased I(1,1)/I(1,0). Decreases in the MLL intensities indicate increasing disorder in the distribution of cross-bridges on the thick filaments surface. In the skeletal muscle, order/disorder is directly correlated with the hydrolysis equilibrium of ATP by myosin, [M.ADP.P(i)]/[M.ATP]. Similar effects of temperature on MLL and similar biochemical ATP hydrolysis pathway found in both types of muscles suggest that the order/disorder states of cardiac cross-bridges may well be correlated with the same biochemical and structural states. This implies that in relaxed cardiac muscle under physiological conditions, the unattached cross-bridges are largely in the M.ADP.P(i) state and with the lowering of the temperature, the equilibrium is increasingly in favor of [M.ATP] and [A.M.ATP]. There appear to be some differences in the diffraction patterns from the two muscles, however. Mainly, in the cardiac muscle, the MLL are weaker, the I(1,1)/I(1,0) ratio tends to be higher, and the lattice spacing D(10), larger. These differences are consistent with the idea that under a wide range of conditions, a greater fraction of cross-bridges is weakly bound to actin in the myocardium.

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