A Cardiomyopathy Mutation in the Myosin Essential Light Chain Alters Actomyosin Structure

Piyali Guhathakurta, Ewa Prochniewicz, Osha Roopnarine, John A. Rohde, David D. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We have used site-directed time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer to determine the effect of a pathological mutation in the human ventricular essential light chain (hVELC) of myosin, on the structural dynamics of the actin-myosin complex. The hVELC modulates the function of actomyosin, through the interaction of its N-terminal extension with actin and its C-terminal lobe with the myosin heavy chain. Several mutations in hVELC are associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Some biochemical effects of these mutations are known, but further insight is needed about their effects on the structural dynamics of functioning actomyosin. Therefore, we introduced the HCM mutation E56G into a single-cysteine (C16) hVELC construct and substituted it for the VELC of bovine cardiac myosin subfragment 1. Using a donor fluorescent probe on actin (at C374) and an acceptor probe on C16 of hVELC, we performed time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer, directly detecting structural changes within the bound actomyosin complex during function. The E56G mutation has no significant effect on actin-activated ATPase activity or actomyosin affinity in the presence of ATP, or on the structure of the strong-binding S complex in the absence of ATP. However, in the presence of saturating ATP, where both W (prepowerstroke) and S (postpowerstroke) structural states are observed, the mutant increases the mole fraction of the S complex (increasing the duty ratio), while shifting the structure of the remaining W complex toward that of S, indicating a structural redistribution toward the strongly bound (force-generating) complex. We propose that this effect is responsible for the hypercontractile phenotype induced by this HCM mutation in myosin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 11 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to D.D.T. (AR032961 and AG26160).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Biophysical Society

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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