Angles of Fluorescently Labelled Myosin Heads and Actin Monomers in Contracting and Rigor Stained Muscle Fiber

  • Toshio Yanagida
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 37)


The measurement of polarized fluorescence from a fluorescent ATP or ADP analog, ɛ-ATP or ɛ-ADP (1, N8 -Etheno-ATP or ADP) bound to myosin heads in a glycerinated muscle fiber revealed that during isometric contraction at low concentrations of Mg-ɛ-ATP the bound nucleotides are highly oriented with respect to the fiber axis, and their mean angle is almost the same as that in rigor. Furthermore, the polarization of tryptophan fluorescence did not change when the fiber was transferred from a rigor state to an active state at low ATP concentrations. Thus, if a rotation of myosin heads occurs during contraction, it seems to be very limited. The angle of bound ɛ-ADP is not changed by passive stretching of the fiber in the presence of ɛ-ADP.

By using the same technique, it was found that orientation of a phalloidin-FITC complex (Ph-FTTC) specifically bound to F-actin in a glycerinated muscle fiber is significantly changed when the fiber is activated from relaxation or rigor to contraction. No change in orientation of Ph-FITC bound to F-actin is induced by simple addition of Mg-ADP or by passive stretching of the fiber in the absence of ATP. These results suggest that a rotation or a distortion of actin monomers occurs during contraction, which is involved in the process of active tension development.


Isometric Contraction Spin Label Thin Filament Fiber Axis Nucleotide Binding Site 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshio Yanagida
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biophysical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering ScienceOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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