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Arrangement of the heads of myosin in relaxed thick filaments from tarantula muscle.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Molecular Biology
0022-2836
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
184
Issue
3
Pages
429–439
Identifiers
PMID: 4046022
Source
Medline

Abstract

Thick filaments from leg muscle of tarantula, maintained under relaxing conditions (Mg-ATP and EGTA), were negatively stained and photographed with minimal electron dose. Particles were selected for three-dimensional image reconstruction by general visual appearance and by the strength and symmetry of their optical diffraction patterns, the best of which extend to spacings of 1/5 nm-1. The helical symmetry is such that, on a given layer-line, Bessel function contributions of different orders start to overlap at fairly low resolution and must therefore be separated computationally by combining data from different views. Independent reconstructions agree well and show more detail than previous reconstructions of thick filaments from Limulus and scallop. The strongest feature is a set of four long-pitch right-handed helical ridges (pitch 4 X 43.5 nm) formed by the elongated myosin heads. The long-pitch helices are modulated to give ridges with an axial spacing of 14.5 nm, lying in planes roughly normal to the filament axis and running circumferentially. We suggest that the latter may be formed by the stacking of a subfragment 1 (S1) head from one myosin molecule on an S1 from an axially neighbouring molecule. Internal features in the map indicate an approximate local twofold axis relating the putative heads within a molecule. The heads appear to point in opposite directions along the filament axis and are located very close to the filament backbone. Thus, for the first time, the two heads of the myosin molecule appear to have been visualized in a native thick filament under relaxing conditions.

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