Myosin as a potential redox-sensor: an in vitro study

  • Chiara Passarelli
  • Stefania Petrini
  • Anna Pastore
  • Valentina Bonetto
  • Patrizio Sale
  • Laura M. Gaeta
  • Giulia Tozzi
  • Enrico Bertini
  • Monica Canepari
  • Rosetta Rossi
  • Fiorella PiemonteEmail author
Original Paper


A balanced redox status is necessary to optimize force production in contractile apparatus, where free radicals generated by skeletal muscle are involved in some basic physiological processes like excitation–contraction coupling. Protein glutathionylation has a key role in redox regulation of proteins and signal transduction. Here we show that myosin is sensitive to in vitro glutathionylation and MALDI-TOF analysis identified three potential sites of glutathione binding, two of them locating on the myosin head. Glutathionylation of myosin has an important impact on the protein structure, as documented by the lower fluorescence quantum yield of glutathionylated myosin and its increased susceptibility to the proteolytic cleavage. Myosin function is also sensitive to glutathionylation, which modulates its ATPase activity depending on GSSG redox balance. Thus, like the phosphorylation/dephosphorylation cycle, glutathionylation may represent a mechanism by which glutathione modulates sarcomere functions depending on the tissue redox state, and myosin may constitute a muscle redox-sensor.


Glutathionylation Oxidative stress Myosin Sarcomere 



Reduced glutathione


Oxidized glutathione


Glutathionylated proteins


Reactive oxygen species



This study has been supported by grants from “Fondazione Pierfranco e Luisa Mariani”—Italy, Cariplo Foundation (to V·B.) and Telethon Foundation-Italy (to V·B., project n. S01010). V·B. is an Assistant Telethon Scientist.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiara Passarelli
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefania Petrini
    • 1
  • Anna Pastore
    • 3
  • Valentina Bonetto
    • 4
  • Patrizio Sale
    • 5
  • Laura M. Gaeta
    • 1
  • Giulia Tozzi
    • 1
  • Enrico Bertini
    • 1
  • Monica Canepari
    • 6
  • Rosetta Rossi
    • 6
  • Fiorella Piemonte
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Molecular Medicine UnitChildren’s Hospital and Research Institute “Bambino Gesù”RomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of Rome “Roma Tre”RomeItaly
  3. 3.Laboratory of BiochemistryChildren’s Hospital and Research Institute “Bambino Gesù”RomeItaly
  4. 4.“Mario Negri” Institute for Pharmacological ResearchDulbecco Telethon InstituteMilanItaly
  5. 5.IRCCS San Raffaele La PisanaRomeItaly
  6. 6.Institute of Human PhysiologyUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

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