Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.369, No.1, 100-108, 2008
Structural changes of the regulatory proteins bound to the thin filaments in skeletal muscle contraction by X-ray fiber diffraction
In order to clarify the structural changes related to the regulation mechanism in skeletal muscle contraction, the intensity changes of thin filament-based reflections were investigated by X-ray fiber diffraction. The time course and extent of intensity changes of the first to third order troponin (TN)-associated meridional reflections with a basic repeat of 38.4 nm were different for each of these reflections. The intensity of the first and second thin filament layer lines changed in a reciprocal manner both during initial activation and during the force generation process. The axial spacings of the TN-meridional reflections decreased by similar to 0.1% upon activation relative to the relaxing state and increased by similar to 0.24% in the force generation state, in line with that of the 2.7-nm reflection. Ca2+-binding to TN triggered the shortening and a change in the helical symmetry of the thin filaments. Modeling of the structural changes using the intensities of the thin filament-based reflections suggested that the conformation of the globular core domain of TN altered upon activation, undergoing additional conformational changes at the tension plateau. The tail domain of TN moved together with tropomyosin during contraction. The results indicate that the structural changes of regulatory proteins bound to the actin filaments occur in two steps, the first in response to the Ca2+-binding and the second induced by actomyosin interaction. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.