Visualization of myosin exchange between synthetic thick filaments

A. D. Saad, J. E. Dennis, I. P. Tan, D. A. Fischman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exchange of myosin molecules between synthetic thick filaments was examined by fluorescence energy transfer and visualized by electron microscopy using streptavidin-gold to detect exchanged biotinylated myosin molecules. N-hydroxysuccinimidobiotin (NHS-biotin) was covalently linked to purified adult chicken pectoralis myosin to obtain assembly-competent biotinylated myosin molecules. Two distinct classes of synthetic filaments, distinguishable by length, were prepared. Biotinylated filaments (575±100 nm) were assembled by a quick dilution (QD) method and unlabelled filaments (1025±250 nm) were obtained by a sequential dilution (SD). The two filament population maintained their distinct length distributions even when mixed. To measure exchange, biotinylated short (QD) filaments were combined with unlabelled long (SD) filaments at a 1:5 ratio, sampled at varying times and the entry of biotinylated myosin into the previously unlabelled long filaments visualized by the addition of streptavidin-gold. The number of gold particles per micron was examined for fully biotinylated short filaments (<700 nm), unlabelled long filaments (>900 nm), and exchanged filaments. Equivalent binding of streptavidin-gold to the two filament types was detected by 60 min suggesting randomization of biotinylated monomers by this time. The precise location of streptavidin-gold sites on the long filaments was also measured. Although labeling was detected along the full length of the filaments, at the earliest time points (5 min) filament ends contained twice the number of gold particles as the filament centers. Approximately equivalent labeling along the entire length of the filaments was observed by 60 min. These results provide additional support for our earlier report of extensive myosin exchange between synthetic thick filaments and show that extensive exchange takes place rapidly along the full length of synthetic thick filaments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-234
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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