We have used saturation transfer electron paramagnetic resonance (ST-EPR) to study the effect of ATP on the rotational dynamics of spin-labeled myosin heads crosslinked to actin (XLAS1). We have previously shown that ATP induces microsecond rotational motions in activated myofibrils or muscle fibers, but the possibility remained that the motion occurred only in the detached phase of the cross-bridge cycle. The addition of ATP to the crosslinked preparation has been shown to be a model system for active cross-bridges, presumably providing an opportunity to measure the motion in the attached state, without interference from unattached heads. In the absence of ATP, XLAS1 had very little microsecond rotational mobility, yielding a spectrum identical to that observed for uncrosslinked acto-S1. This suggests that all of the labeled S1 forms normal rigor complexes when crosslinked to actin. The addition of 5 mM ATP greatly increased the microsecond rotational mobility of XLAS1, and the effects were reversed upon depletion of ATP. The most plausible explanation for these results is that myosin heads undergo microsecond rotational motion while attached actively to actin during steady state ATPase activity. These results have important implications for the interpretation of spectroscopic data obtained during muscle contraction.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (GM 27906, AM 32961), the National Science Foundation, the Ameri-can Heart Association, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of America. David D. Thomas is supported by an Established Investigator- ship from the American Heart Association. Eric C. Svensson was supported by a Shapira Scholarship from the American Heart Associa- tion and a University of Minnesota Undergraduate Research Opportuni- ties grant.