Microsecond Rotational Dynamics of Phosphorescent-Labeled Muscle Cross-Bridges

Richard D. Ludescher, David D Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We have measured the microsecond rotational motions of myosin heads in muscle cross-bridges under physiological ionic conditions at 4 °C, by detecting the time-resolved phosphorescence of eosin-maleimide covalently attached to heads in skeletal muscle myofibrils. The anisotropy decay of heads in rigor (no ATP) is constant over the time range from 0.5 to 200 μs, indicating that they do not undergo rotational motion in this time range. In the presence of 5 mM MgATP, however, heads undergo complex rotational motion with correlation times of about 5 and 40 μs. The motion of heads in relaxed myofibrils is restricted out to 1 ms, as indicated by a nonzero value of the residual anisotropy. The anisotropy decay of eosin-labeled myosin, extracted from labeled myofibrils, also exhibits complex decay on the 200-μs time scale when assembled into synthetic thick filaments. The correlation times and amplitudes of heads in filaments (under the same ionic conditions as the myofibril experiments) are unaffected by MgATP and very similar to the values for heads in relaxed myofibrils. The larger residual anisotropy and longer correlation times seen in myofibrils are consistent with a restriction of rotational motion in the confines of the myofibril protein lattice. These are the first time-resolved measurements under physiological conditions of the rotational motions of cross-bridges in the microsecond time range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3343-3351
Number of pages9
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1988

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