Monday, February 17, 2014

Loop 2 of myosin is a force-dependent inhibitor of the rigor bond

Amy M. Clobes, William H. Guilford

Myosin’s actin-binding loop (loop 2) carries a charge opposite to that of its binding site on actin and is thought to play an important role in ionic interactions between the two molecules during the initial binding step. However, no subsequent role has been identified for loop 2 in actin-myosin binding. We used an optical trap to measure bond formation and bond rupture between actin and rigor heavy meromyosin when loaded perpendicular to the filament axis. We studied HMM with intact or proteolytically cleaved loop 2 at low and physiologic ionic strength. Here we show that the presence of intact loop 2 allows actomyosin bonds to form quickly and that they do so in a short-lived bound state. Increasing tensile load causes the transition to a long-lived state—the distinguishing behavior of a catch bond. When loop 2 was cleaved catch bond behavior was abrogated leaving only a long-lived state. These data suggest that in addition to its role in locating binding sites on actin, loop 2 is also a force-dependent inhibitor of the long-lived actomyosin complex. This may be important for reducing the duty ratio and increasing the shortening velocity of actomyosin at low forces.

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