Structural and functional impact of site-directed methionine oxidation in myosin

Jennifer C. Klein, Rebecca J. Moen, Evan A. Smith, Margaret A. Titus, David D. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We have examined the structural and functional effects of site-directed methionine oxidation in Dictyostelium (Dicty) myosin II using mutagenesis, in vitro oxidation, and site-directed spin-labeling for electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). Protein oxidation by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species is critical for normal cellular function, but oxidative stress has been implicated in disease progression and biological aging. Our goal is to bridge understanding of protein oxidation and muscle dysfunction with molecular-level insights into actomyosin interaction. In order to focus on methionine oxidation and to facilitate site-directed spectroscopy, we started with a Cys-lite version of Dicty myosin II. For Dicty myosin containing native methionines, peroxide treatment decreased actin-activated myosin ATPase activity, consistent with the decline in actomyosin function previously observed in biologically aged or peroxide-treated muscle. Methionine-to-leucine mutations, used to protect specific sites from oxidation, identified a single methionine that is functionally sensitive to oxidation: M394, near the myosin cardiomyopathy loop in the actin-binding interface. Previously characterized myosin labeling sites for spectroscopy in the force-producing region and actin-binding cleft were examined; spin-label mobility and distance measurements in the actin-binding cleft were sensitive to oxidation, but particularly in the presence of actin. Overall secondary structure and thermal stability were unaffected by oxidation. We conclude that the oxidation-induced structural change in myosin includes a redistribution of existing structural states of the actin-binding cleft. These results will be applicable to the many biological and therapeutic contexts in which a detailed understanding of protein oxidation as well as function and structure relationships is sought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10318-10327
Number of pages10
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 29 2011


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