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The ATPase kinetics of insect fibrillar flight muscle myosin subfragment-1

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Myosin subfragment-1 (S1) has been prepared from the fibrillar flight muscles of the giant water bugLethocerus by chymotryptic digestion of myofibrillar suspensions in the absence of magnesium ions. The S1 obtained has a single light chain and a heavy chain with molecular weights of about 18 kDa and 90 kDa respectively.

The kinetics of the elementary steps of the magnesium-dependent ATPase of insect S1 and rabbit S1 are similar, both with ATP and with ATP analogues as substrates. However, the presence of variable amounts of inactive protein within our preparation means that several rate constants cannot be obtained with as much precision in the case of insect S1. The most striking differences between the rabbit and insect S1 are values for the Vmax and the Km of actin during actin-activation of the MgATPase activity, which are up to an order of magnitude lower and greater in the insect than in the rabbit, respectively.

The mechanical properties of strain activation and of capacity to do extended oscillatory work are unique to insect fibrillar flight muscle and distinguish it from vertebrate striated muscle. It is likely that these properties reflect differences in the organization of actin and myosin within the respective filament lattices rather than intrinsic differences in the ATPase mechanisms of the isolated myosin molecules from the two types of muscle.

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White, D.C.S., Zimmermann, R.W. & Trentham, D.R. The ATPase kinetics of insect fibrillar flight muscle myosin subfragment-1. J Muscle Res Cell Motil 7, 179–192 (1986).

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  • Light Chain
  • Heavy Chain
  • Striking Difference
  • Elementary Step
  • Flight Muscle