Rotational dynamics of spin-labeled F-actin in the sub-millisecond time range

David D. Thomas, John C. Seidel, John Gergely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


The rotational motions of F-actin filaments and myosin heads attached to them have been measured by saturation transfer electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy using spin-labels rigidly bound to actin, or to the myosin head region in intact myosin molecules, heavy meromyosin, and subfragment-1. The spin-label attached to F-actin undergoes rotational motion having an effective correlation time of the order of 10-4 seconds. This cannot be interpreted as rotation of the entire F-actin filament or local rotation of the spin-label, but must represent an internal rotational mode of F-actin, possibly a bending or flexing motion, or a rotation of an actin monomer or a segment of it. The rate of this rotational motion is reduced approximately fourfold by myosin, HMM or S-1; HMM and S-1 are equally effective, on a molar basis, in slowing this rotation and both produce their maximal effect at a ratio of about one molecule of HMM or S-1 per ten actin monomers. With chymotryptic S-1, the effect is partially reversed at higher concentrations. With S-1 prepared with papain in the presence of Mg2+, the reversal is smaller, while with HMM or myosin there is no reversal at higher concentrations. Tropomyosin slightly decreases the actin rotational mobility, and the addition of HMM to the actin-tropomyosin complex produces a further slowing. The rotational correlation time for acto-HMM is the same whether the spin-label is on actin or HMM, indicating that the rotation of the head region of HMM when bound to F-actin is controlled by a mode of rotation within the F-actin filaments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-273
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 15 1979

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes HL-15391, HL-5811, RR 05711), the National Science Foundation Muscular Dystrophy Association. One author (D. T.) was supported fellowship from the Muscular Dystrophy Association.


Dive into the research topics of 'Rotational dynamics of spin-labeled F-actin in the sub-millisecond time range'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this