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Science. 1990 Mar 16;247(4948):1339-41.

Calcium-induced movement of troponin-I relative to actin in skeletal muscle thin filaments.

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Department of Muscle Research, Boston Biomedical Research Institute, MA 02114.


The role of troponin-I (the inhibitory subunit of troponin) in the regulation by Ca2+ of skeletal muscle contraction was investigated with resonance energy transfer and photo cross-linking techniques. The effect of Ca2+ on the proximity of troponin-I to actin in reconstituted rabbit skeletal thin filaments was determined. The distance between the cysteine residue at position 133 (Cys133) of troponin-I and Cys374 of actin increases by approximately 15 angstroms on binding of Ca2+ to troponin-C. Also, troponin-I labeled at Cys133 with benzophenone-4-maleimide could be photo cross-linked to actin in the absence of Ca2+, but not in its presence. These results suggest that troponin-I is attached to actin in the Ca2(+)-free or relaxed state of muscle, and that it detaches from actin on Ca2+ activation of contraction. Thus, troponin-I may function as a Ca2(+)-dependent molecular switch in regulation of skeletal muscle contraction.

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