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Biophys J. 1987 Feb;51(2):323-33.

Orientation of spin-labeled nucleotides bound to myosin in glycerinated muscle fibers.


Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy of paramagnetic derivatives of ATP has been used to probe the angular distribution of myosin in glycerinated muscle fibers. Three nucleotide spin labels have been prepared with the nitroxide free radical moiety attached, via an ester linkage to either: the 2' or 3' positions of the ribose unit of ATP (SL-ATP), the 2' position of 3' deoxy ATP (2'SL-dATP), or the 3' position of 2' deoxy ATP (3'SL-dATP). In muscle fibers, these nucleotides are quickly hydrolyzed to their diphosphate forms. All three diphosphate analogues bind to the nucleotide site of myosin with similar affinities: rabbit psoas fibers, 7 X 10(3)/M; insect flight muscle, 5 X 10(3)/M; and rabbit soleus muscle, 2 X 10(4)/M. Analysis of the spectra showed that the principal z-axis of the nitroxide attached to bound nucleotides was oriented with respect to the filament axis. The principal axes of 3'SL-dADP and 2'SL-dADP appeared to be preferentially aligned at mean angles of 67 degrees +/- 4 degrees and 55 degrees +/- 5 degrees, respectively. The distribution of probes about these angles can be described by Gaussians with widths of 16 degrees +/- 4 degrees and 13 degrees +/- 5 degrees, respectively. The spectrum of bound SL-ADP was a linear combination of the spectra of the two deoxy analogues. These orientations were the same in the three muscle types examined, indicating a high degree of homology in the nucleotide binding site. Applying static strains as high as 0.2 N/mm2 to muscle fibers caused no change in the orientation of myosin-bound, spin-labeled nucleotides. When muscle fibers were stretched to decrease actin and myosin filament overlap, bound SL-ADP produced EPR spectra indicative of probes with a highly disordered angular distribution. Sodium vanadate and SL-ATP caused fiber stiffness to decrease, and the EPR spectrum of the bound analogue indicated an increase in the fraction of disoriented probes with a concomitant decrease in the fraction of oriented probes. These findings indicate that when myosin is bound to actin its nucleotide site is highly oriented relative to the fiber axis, and when this interaction is removed the orientation of the nucleotide site becomes highly disordered.

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