Myosin light-chain domain rotates upon muscle activation but not ATP hydrolysis

Ingrid Brust-Mascher, Leslie E.W. LaConte, Josh E. Baker, David D Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We have studied the correlation between myosin structure, myosin biochemistry, and muscle force. Two distinct orientations of the myosin light-chain domain were previously resolved using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy of spin-labeled regulatory light chains in scallop muscle fibers. In the present study, we measured isometric force during EPR spectral acquisition, in order to define how these two light-chain domain orientations are coupled to force and the myosin ATPase cycle. When muscle fibers are partially activated with increasing amounts of calcium, the distribution between the two light-chain domain orientations shifts toward the one associated with strong actin binding. This shift in distribution is linearly related to the increase in force, suggesting that rotation of the light-chain domain is coupled to strong actin binding. However, when nucleotide analogues are used to trap myosin in the pre- and posthydrolysis states of its ATPase cycle in relaxed muscle, there is no change in the distribution between light-chain domain orientations, showing that the rotation of the light-chain domain is not directly coupled to the ATP hydrolysis step. Instead, it is likely that in relaxed muscle the myosin thick filament stabilizes two light-chain domain orientations that are independent of the nucleotide analogue bound at the active site. We conclude that a large and distinct rotation of the light-chain domain of myosin is responsible for force generation and is coupled to strong actin binding but is not coupled to a specific step in the myosin ATPase reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12607-12613
Number of pages7
Issue number39
StatePublished - Sep 28 1999


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