Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2011 Aug;301(2):C383-91. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00016.2011. Epub 2011 May 18.

COOH-terminal truncation of flightin decreases myofilament lattice organization, cross-bridge binding, and power output in Drosophila indirect flight muscle.

Author information

Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.


The indirect flight muscle (IFM) of insects is characterized by a near crystalline myofilament lattice structure that likely evolved to achieve high power output. In Drosophila IFM, the myosin rod binding protein flightin plays a crucial role in thick filament organization and sarcomere integrity. Here we investigate the extent to which the COOH terminus of flightin contributes to IFM structure and mechanical performance using transgenic Drosophila expressing a truncated flightin lacking the 44 COOH-terminal amino acids (fln(ΔC44)). Electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction measurements show decreased myofilament lattice order in the fln(ΔC44) line compared with control, a transgenic flightin-null rescued line (fln(+)). fln(ΔC44) fibers produced roughly 1/3 the oscillatory work and power of fln(+), with reduced frequencies of maximum work (123 Hz vs. 154 Hz) and power (139 Hz vs. 187 Hz) output, indicating slower myosin cycling kinetics. These reductions in work and power stem from a slower rate of cross-bridge recruitment and decreased cross-bridge binding in fln(ΔC44) fibers, although the mean duration of cross-bridge attachment was not different between both lines. The decreases in lattice order and myosin kinetics resulted in fln(ΔC44) flies being unable to beat their wings. These results indicate that the COOH terminus of flightin is necessary for normal myofilament lattice organization, thereby facilitating the cross-bridge binding required to achieve high power output for flight.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center