Author(s): Sugi H, Akimoto T, Sutoh K, Chaen S, Oishi N,
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Abstract Although muscle contraction is known to result from movement of the myosin heads on the thick filaments while attached to the thin filaments, the myosin head movement coupled with ATP hydrolysis still remains to be investigated. Using a gas environmental (hydration) chamber, in which biological specimens can be kept in wet state, we succeeded in recording images of living muscle thick filaments with gold position markers attached to the myosin heads. The position of individual myosin heads did not change appreciably with time in the absence of ATP, indicating stability of the myosin head mean position. On application of ATP, the position of individual myosin heads was found to move by approximately 20 nm along the filament axis, whereas no appreciable movement of the filaments was detected. The ATP-induced myosin head movement was not observed in filaments in which ATPase activity of the myosin heads was eliminated. Application of ADP produced no appreciable myosin head movement. These results show that the ATP-induced myosin head movement takes place in the absence of the thin filaments. Because ATP reacts rapidly with the myosin head (M) to form the complex (M. ADP.Pi) with an average lifetime of >10 s, the observed myosin head movement may be mostly associated with reaction, M + ATP --> M.ADP. Pi. This work will open a new research field to study dynamic structural changes of individual biomolecules, which are kept in a living state in an electron microscope.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Nanomedicine & Nanotechnology