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Biophys J. 2013 Oct 1;105(7):1624-34. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.08.023.

Effects of ATP and actin-filament binding on the dynamics of the myosin II S1 domain.

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Department of Chemistry, James Franck Institute, Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, and Computation Institute, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.


Actin and myosin interact with one another to perform a variety of cellular functions. Central to understanding the processive motion of myosin on actin is the characterization of the individual states along the mechanochemical cycle. We present an all-atom molecular dynamics simulation of the myosin II S1 domain in the rigor state interacting with an actin filament. We also study actin-free myosin in both rigor and post-rigor conformations. Using all-atom level and coarse-grained analysis methods, we investigate the effects of myosin binding on actin, and of actin binding on myosin. In particular, we determine the domains of actin and myosin that interact strongly with one another at the actomyosin interface using a highly coarse-grained level of resolution, and we identify a number of salt bridges and hydrogen bonds at the interface of myosin and actin. Applying coarse-grained analysis, we identify differences in myosin states dependent on actin-binding, or ATP binding. Our simulations also indicate that the actin propeller twist-angle and nucleotide cleft-angles are influenced by myosin at the actomyosin interface. The torsional rigidity of the myosin-bound filament is also calculated, and is found to be increased compared to previous simulations of the free filament.

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