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J Biol Chem. 2012 Mar 2;287(10):7661-74. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.281600. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

Structural dynamics of C-domain of cardiac troponin I protein in reconstituted thin filament.

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Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy Pharmacology and Physiology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164, USA.


The regulatory function of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) involves three important contiguous regions within its C-domain: the inhibitory region (IR), the regulatory region (RR), and the mobile domain (MD). Within these regions, the dynamics of regional structure and kinetics of transitions in dynamic state are believed to facilitate regulatory signaling. This study was designed to use fluorescence anisotropy techniques to acquire steady-state and kinetic information on the dynamic state of the C-domain of cTnI in the reconstituted thin filament. A series of single cysteine cTnI mutants was generated, labeled with the fluorophore tetramethylrhodamine, and subjected to various anisotropy experiments at the thin filament level. The structure of the IR was found to be less dynamic than that of the RR and the MD, and Ca(2+) binding induced minimal changes in IR dynamics: the flexibility of the RR decreased, whereas the MD became more flexible. Anisotropy stopped-flow experiments showed that the kinetics describing the transition of the MD and RR from the Ca(2+)-bound to the Ca(2+)-free dynamic states were significantly faster (53.2-116.8 s(-1)) than that of the IR (14.1 s(-1)). Our results support the fly casting mechanism, implying that an unstructured MD with rapid dynamics and kinetics plays a critical role to initiate relaxation upon Ca(2+) dissociation by rapidly interacting with actin to promote the dissociation of the RR from the N-domain of cTnC. In contrast, the IR responds to Ca(2+) signals with slow structural dynamics and transition kinetics. The collective findings suggested a fourth state of activation.

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