Physical Integrity of Smooth Muscle Myosin Filaments is Enhanced by Phosphorylation of the Regulatory Myosin Light Chain

Kelvin Ip, Apolinary Sobieszek, Dennis Solomon, Yuekan Jiao, Peter Paré, Chun Seow
2007 Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry  
and Aims: Smooth muscle myosin monomers self-assemble in solution to form filaments. Phosphorylation of the 20-kD regulatory myosin light chain (MLC20) enhances filament formation. It is not known whether the phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated filaments possess the same structural integrity. Methods: We purified myosin from bovine trachealis to form filaments, in ATP-containing zerocalcium solution during a slow dialysis that gradually reduced the ionic strength. Sufficient myosin light chain
more » ... myosin light chain kinase and phosphatase, as well as calmodulin, were retained after the myosin purification and this enabled phosphorylation of MLC20 within 20-40s after addition of calcium to the filament suspension. The phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated filaments were then partially disassembled by ultrasonification. The extent of filament disintegration was visualized and quantified by atomic force microscopy. Results: MLC20 phosphorylation reduced the diameter of the filaments and rendered the filaments more resistant to ultrasonic agitation. Electron microscopy revealed a similar reduction in filament diameter in intact smooth muscle when the cells were activated. Conclusion: Modification of the structural and physical properties of myosin filaments by MLC20 phosphorylation may be a key regulation step in smooth muscle where formation and dissolution of the filaments are required in the cells' adaptation to different cell length.
doi:10.1159/000107548 pmid:17762191 fatcat:gg6ehmu6efgklolowpre7biifm