Electron tomography of swollen rigor fibers of insect flight muscle reveals a short and variably angled S2 domain.


Journal Article

Subfragment 2 (S2), the segment that links the two myosin heads to the thick filament backbone, may serve as a swing-out adapter allowing crossbridge access to actin, as the elastic component of crossbridges and as part of a phosphorylation-regulated on-off switch for crossbridges in smooth muscle. Low-salt expansion increases interfilament spacing (from 52 nm to 67 nm) of rigor insect flight muscle fibers and exposes a tethering segment of S2 in many crossbridges. Docking an actoS1 atomic model into EM tomograms of swollen rigor fibers identifies in situ for the first time the location, length and angle assignable to a segment of S2. Correspondence analysis of 1831 38.7 nm crossbridge repeats grouped self-similar forms from which class averages could be computed. The full range of the variability in angles and lengths of exposed S2 was displayed by using class averages for atomic fittings of acto-S1, while S2 was modeled by fitting a length of coiled-coil to unaveraged individual repeats. This hybrid modeling shows that the average length of S2 tethers along the thick filament (except near the tapered ends) is approximately 10 nm, or 16% of S2's total length, with an angular range encompassing 90 degrees axially and 120 degrees azimuthally. The large range of S2 angles indicates that some rigor bridges produce positive force that must be balanced by others producing drag force. The short tethering segment clarifies constraints on the function of S2 in accommodating variable myosin head access to actin. We suggest that the short length of S2 may also favor intermolecular head-head interactions in IFM relaxed thick filaments.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Liu, J; Wu, S; Reedy, MC; Winkler, H; Lucaveche, C; Cheng, Y; Reedy, MK; Taylor, KA

Published Date

  • September 29, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 362 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 844 - 860

PubMed ID

  • 16949613

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16949613

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-2836

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jmb.2006.07.084


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England