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Science. 1993 Jul 2;261(5117):58-65.

Structure of the actin-myosin complex and its implications for muscle contraction.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53705.


Muscle contraction consists of a cyclical interaction between myosin and actin driven by the concomitant hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). A model for the rigor complex of F actin and the myosin head was obtained by combining the molecular structures of the individual proteins with the low-resolution electron density maps of the complex derived by cryo-electron microscopy and image analysis. The spatial relation between the ATP binding pocket on myosin and the major contact area on actin suggests a working hypothesis for the crossbridge cycle that is consistent with previous independent structural and biochemical studies.

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