Friday, June 23, 2017

Cooperativity of myosin interaction with thin filaments is enhanced by stabilizing substitutions in tropomyosin

Daniil V. Shchepkin, Salavat R. Nabiev, Galina V. Kopylova, Alexander M. Matyushenko, Dmitrii I. Levitsky, Sergey Y. Bershitsky, Andrey K. Tsaturyan

Muscle contraction is powered by myosin interaction with actin-based thin filaments containing Ca2+-regulatory proteins, tropomyosin and troponin. Coiled-coil tropomyosin molecules form a long helical strand that winds around actin filament and either shields actin from myosin binding or opens it. Non-canonical residues G126 and D137 in the central part of tropomyosin destabilize its coiled-coil structure. Their substitutions for canonical ones, G126R and D137L, increase structural stability and the velocity of sliding of reconstructed thin filaments along myosin coated surface. The effect of these stabilizing mutations on force of the actin–myosin interaction is unknown. It also remains unclear whether the stabilization affects single actin–myosin interactions or it modifies the cooperativity of the binding of myosin molecules to actin. We used an optical trap to measure the effects of the stabilization on step size, unitary force and duration of the interactions at low and high load and compared the results with those obtained in an in vitro motility assay. We found that significant prolongation of lifetime of the actin–myosin complex under high load observed at high extent of tropomyosin stabilization, i.e. with double mutant, G126R/D137L, correlates with higher force in the motility assay. Also, the higher the extent of stabilization of tropomyosin, the fewer myosin molecules are needed to propel the thin filaments. The data suggest that the effects of the stabilizing mutations in tropomyosin on the myosin interaction with regulated thin filaments are mainly realized via cooperative mechanisms by increasing the size of cooperative unit.

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