The myosin head can bind two actin monomers

O. A. Andreev, J. Borejdo

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19 Scopus citations


Force impulse is thought to be generated in muscle when myosin head (S-1), while weakly bound to actin filament, undergoes orientational change to form a strong (rigor) bond with actin. There is ample evidence that this bond involves interaction of 1 myosin head with 1 actin monomer. However, X-ray diffraction data of muscle decorated with S-1, as well as recently proposed model of the thin filaments, suggested that each S-1 molecule interacted with two actin monomers. We reinvestigated this controversy and found that the stoichiometry of acto-S-1 bond depended on the relative amounts of actin and myosin present during titrations: when increasing amounts of actin were added to a fixed amount of S-1 (i.e. when myosin heads were initially in excess over actin), the saturating stoichiometry was 1 mol of S-1 per 1 mol of actin. However, when increasing amounts of S-1 were added slowly to a fixed amount of F-actin (i.e. when actin was initially in excess over S-1), the stoichiometry at saturation was 1 mol of S-1 per 2 mols of actin. The ability of S-1 to bind either one or two actin monomers suggests a way that force could be generated during muscle contraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-356
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 31 May 1991


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