ABSTRACT: The demembranated (skinned) muscle fiber preparation is widely used to investigate muscle contraction because the intracellular ionic conditions can be precisely controlled. However, plasma membrane removal results in a loss of osmotic regulation, causing abnormal hydration of the myofilament lattice and its proteins. We investigated the structural and functional consequences of varied myofilament lattice spacing and protein hydration on cross-bridge rates of force development and detachment in Drosophila melanogaster indirect flight muscle, using x-ray diffraction to compare the lattice spacing of dissected, osmotically compressed skinned fibers to native muscle fibers in living flies. Osmolytes of different sizes and exclusion properties (Dextran T-500 and T-10) were used to differentially alter lattice spacing and protein hydration. At in vivo lattice spacing, cross-bridge attachment time (t(on)) increased with higher osmotic pressures, consistent with a reduced cross-bridge detachment rate as myofilament protein hydration decreased. In contrast, in the swollen lattice, t(on) decreased with higher osmotic pressures. These divergent responses were reconciled using a structural model that predicts t(on) varies inversely with thick-to-thin filament surface distance, suggesting that cross-bridge rates of force development and detachment are modulated more by myofilament lattice geometry than protein hydration. Generalizing these findings, our results suggest that cross-bridge cycling rates slow as thick-to-thin filament surface distance decreases with sarcomere lengthening, and likewise, cross-bridge cycling rates increase during sarcomere shortening. Together, these structural changes may provide a mechanism for altering cross-bridge performance throughout a contraction-relaxation cycle.
Project description:Acto-myosin cross-bridge kinetics are important for beat-to-beat regulation of cardiac contractility; however, physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms for regulation of contractile kinetics are incompletely understood. Here we explored whether thin filament-mediated Ca2+ sensitization influences cross-bridge kinetics in permeabilized, osmotically compressed cardiac muscle preparations. We used a murine model of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) harboring a cardiac troponin C (cTnC) Ca2+-sensitizing mutation, Ala8Val in the regulatory N-domain. We also treated wild-type murine muscle with bepridil, a cTnC-targeting Ca2+ sensitizer. Our findings suggest that both methods of increasing myofilament Ca2+ sensitivity increase cross-bridge cycling rate measured by the rate of tension redevelopment (kTR); force per cross-bridge was also enhanced as measured by sinusoidal stiffness and I1,1/I1,0 ratio from X-ray diffraction. Computational modeling suggests that Ca2+ sensitization through this cTnC mutation or bepridil accelerates kTR primarily by promoting faster cross-bridge detachment. To elucidate if myofilament structural rearrangements are associated with changes in kTR, we used small angle X-ray diffraction to simultaneously measure myofilament lattice spacing and isometric force during steady-state Ca2+ activations. Within in vivo lattice dimensions, lattice spacing and steady-state isometric force increased significantly at submaximal activation. We conclude that the cTnC N-domain controls force by modulating both the number and rate of cycling cross-bridges, and that the both methods of Ca2+ sensitization may act through stabilization of cTnC's D-helix. Furthermore, we propose that the transient expansion of the myofilament lattice during Ca2+ activation may be an additional factor that could increase the rate of cross-bridge cycling in cardiac muscle. These findings may have implications for the pathophysiology of HCM.
Project description:Protein kinase A-mediated (PKA) phosphorylation of cardiac myosin binding protein C (cMyBP-C) accelerates the kinetics of cross-bridge cycling and may relieve the tether-like constraint of myosin heads imposed by cMyBP-C. We favor a mechanism in which cMyBP-C modulates cross-bridge cycling kinetics by regulating the proximity and interaction of myosin and actin. To test this idea, we used synchrotron low-angle x-ray diffraction to measure interthick filament lattice spacing and the equatorial intensity ratio, I(11)/I(10), in skinned trabeculae isolated from wild-type and cMyBP-C null (cMyBP-C(-/-)) mice. In wild-type myocardium, PKA treatment appeared to result in radial or azimuthal displacement of cross-bridges away from the thick filaments as indicated by an increase (approximately 50%) in I(11)/I(10) (0.22+/-0.03 versus 0.33+/-0.03). Conversely, PKA treatment did not affect cross-bridge disposition in mice lacking cMyBP-C, because there was no difference in I(11)/I(10) between untreated and PKA-treated cMyBP-C(-/-) myocardium (0.40+/-0.06 versus 0.42+/-0.05). Although lattice spacing did not change after treatment in wild-type (45.68+/-0.84 nm versus 45.64+/-0.64 nm), treatment of cMyBP-C(-/-) myocardium increased lattice spacing (46.80+/-0.92 nm versus 49.61+/-0.59 nm). This result is consistent with the idea that the myofilament lattice expands after PKA phosphorylation of cardiac troponin I, and when present, cMyBP-C, may stabilize the lattice. These data support our hypothesis that tethering of cross-bridges by cMyBP-C is relieved by phosphorylation of PKA sites in cMyBP-C, thereby increasing the proximity of cross-bridges to actin and increasing the probability of interaction with actin on contraction.
Project description:We investigated the influence of cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C) and its constitutively unphosphorylated status on the radial and longitudinal stiffnesses of the myofilament lattice in chemically skinned myocardial strips of the following mouse models: nontransgenic (NTG), effective null for cMyBP-C (t/t), wild-type cMyBP-C expressed into t/t (WT(t/t)), and constitutively unphosphorylated cMyBP-C (AllP-(t/t)). We found that the absence of cMyBP-C in the t/t and the unphosphorylated cMyBP-C in the AllP-(t/t) resulted in a compressible cardiac myofilament lattice induced by rigor not observed in the NTG and WT(t/t). These results suggest that the presence and phosphorylation of the N-terminus of cMyBP-C provides structural support and radial rigidity to the myofilament lattice. Examination of myofilament longitudinal stiffness under rigor conditions demonstrated a significant reduction in cross-bridge-dependent stiffness in the t/t compared with NTG controls, but not in the AllP-(t/t) compared with WT(t/t) controls. The absence of cMyBP-C in the t/t and the unphosphorylated cMyBP-C in the AllP-(t/t) both resulted in a shorter myosin cross-bridge lifetime when myosin isoform was controlled. These data collectively suggest that cMyBP-C provides radial rigidity to the myofilament lattice through the N-terminus, and that disruption of the phosphorylation of cMyBP-C is sufficient to abolish this structural role of the N-terminus and shorten cross-bridge lifetime. Although the presence of cMyBP-C also provides longitudinal rigidity, phosphorylation of the N-terminus is not necessary to maintain longitudinal rigidity of the lattice, in contrast to radial rigidity.
Project description:AIM:Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is associated with progressive depressed left ventricular (LV) function. However, DMD effects on myofilament structure and function are poorly understood. Golden Retriever Muscular Dystrophy (GRMD) is a dog model of DMD recapitulating the human form of DMD. OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study is to evaluate myofilament structure and function alterations in GRMD model with spontaneous cardiac failure. METHODS AND RESULTS:We have employed synchrotron X-rays diffraction to evaluate myofilament lattice spacing at various sarcomere lengths (SL) on permeabilized LV myocardium. We found a negative correlation between SL and lattice spacing in both sub-epicardium (EPI) and sub-endocardium (ENDO) LV layers in control dog hearts. In the ENDO of GRMD hearts this correlation is steeper due to higher lattice spacing at short SL (1.9?m). Furthermore, cross-bridge cycling indexed by the kinetics of tension redevelopment (ktr) was faster in ENDO GRMD myofilaments at short SL. We measured post-translational modifications of key regulatory contractile proteins. S-glutathionylation of cardiac Myosin Binding Protein-C (cMyBP-C) was unchanged and PKA dependent phosphorylation of the cMyBP-C was significantly reduced in GRMD ENDO tissue and more modestly in EPI tissue. CONCLUSIONS:We found a gradient of contractility in control dogs' myocardium that spreads across the LV wall, negatively correlated with myofilament lattice spacing. Chronic stress induced by dystrophin deficiency leads to heart failure that is tightly associated with regional structural changes indexed by increased myofilament lattice spacing, reduced phosphorylation of regulatory proteins and altered myofilament contractile properties in GRMD dogs.
Project description:The regulatory mechanism of sarcomeric activity has not been fully clarified yet because of its complex and cooperative nature, which involves both Ca(2+) and cross-bridge binding to the thin filament. To reveal the mechanism of regulation mediated by the cross-bridges, separately from the effect of Ca(2+), we investigated the force-sarcomere length (SL) relationship in rabbit skeletal myofibrils (a single myofibril or a thin bundle) at SL > 2.2 microm in the absence of Ca(2+) at various levels of activation by exogenous MgADP (4-20 mM) in the presence of 1 mM MgATP. The individual SLs were measured by phase-contrast microscopy to confirm the homogeneity of the striation pattern of sarcomeres during activation. We found that at partial activation with 4-8 mM MgADP, the developed force nonlinearly depended on the length of overlap between the thick and the thin filaments; that is, contrary to the maximal activation, the maximal active force was generated at shorter overlap. Besides, the active force became larger, whereas this nonlinearity tended to weaken, with either an increase in [MgADP] or the lateral osmotic compression of the myofilament lattice induced by the addition of a macromolecular compound, dextran T-500. The model analysis, which takes into account the [MgADP]- and the lattice-spacing-dependent probability of cross-bridge formation, was successfully applied to account for the force-SL relationship observed at partial activation. These results strongly suggest that the cross-bridge works as a cooperative activator, the function of which is highly sensitive to as little as <or=1 nm changes in the lattice spacing.
Project description:Nearly all mechanochemical models of the cross-bridge treat myosin as a simple linear spring arranged parallel to the contractile filaments. These single-spring models cannot account for the radial force that muscle generates (orthogonal to the long axis of the myofilaments) or the effects of changes in filament lattice spacing. We describe a more complex myosin cross-bridge model that uses multiple springs to replicate myosin's force-generating power stroke and account for the effects of lattice spacing and radial force. The four springs which comprise this model (the 4sXB) correspond to the mechanically relevant portions of myosin's structure. As occurs in vivo, the 4sXB's state-transition kinetics and force-production dynamics vary with lattice spacing. Additionally, we describe a simpler two-spring cross-bridge (2sXB) model which produces results similar to those of the 4sXB model. Unlike the 4sXB model, the 2sXB model requires no iterative techniques, making it more computationally efficient. The rate at which both multi-spring cross-bridges bind and generate force decreases as lattice spacing grows. The axial force generated by each cross-bridge as it undergoes a power stroke increases as lattice spacing grows. The radial force that a cross-bridge produces as it undergoes a power stroke varies from expansive to compressive as lattice spacing increases. Importantly, these results mirror those for intact, contracting muscle force production.
Project description:Vinculin (Vcl) plays a key structural role in ventricular myocytes that, when disrupted, can lead to contractile dysfunction and dilated cardiomyopathy. To investigate the role of Vcl in myocyte and myocardial function, cardiomyocyte-specific Vcl knockout mice (cVclKO) and littermate control wild-type mice were studied with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tagging before the onset of global ventricular dysfunction. MRI revealed significantly decreased systolic strains transverse to the myofiber axis in vivo, but no changes along the muscle fibers or in fiber tension in papillary muscles from heterozygous global Vcl null mice. Myofilament lattice spacing from TEM was significantly greater in cVclKO versus wild-type hearts fixed in the unloaded state. AFM in Vcl heterozygous null mouse myocytes showed a significant decrease in membrane cortical stiffness. A multiscale computational model of ventricular mechanics incorporating cross-bridge geometry and lattice mechanics showed that increased transverse systolic stiffness due to increased lattice spacing may explain the systolic wall strains associated with Vcl deficiency, before the onset of ventricular dysfunction. Loss of cardiac myocyte Vcl may decrease systolic transverse strains in vivo by decreasing membrane cortical tension, which decreases transverse compression of the lattice thereby increasing interfilament spacing and stress transverse to the myofibers.
Project description:The indirect flight muscle (IFM) of insects is characterized by a near crystalline myofilament lattice structure that likely evolved to achieve high power output. In Drosophila IFM, the myosin rod binding protein flightin plays a crucial role in thick filament organization and sarcomere integrity. Here we investigate the extent to which the COOH terminus of flightin contributes to IFM structure and mechanical performance using transgenic Drosophila expressing a truncated flightin lacking the 44 COOH-terminal amino acids (fln(?C44)). Electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction measurements show decreased myofilament lattice order in the fln(?C44) line compared with control, a transgenic flightin-null rescued line (fln(+)). fln(?C44) fibers produced roughly 1/3 the oscillatory work and power of fln(+), with reduced frequencies of maximum work (123 Hz vs. 154 Hz) and power (139 Hz vs. 187 Hz) output, indicating slower myosin cycling kinetics. These reductions in work and power stem from a slower rate of cross-bridge recruitment and decreased cross-bridge binding in fln(?C44) fibers, although the mean duration of cross-bridge attachment was not different between both lines. The decreases in lattice order and myosin kinetics resulted in fln(?C44) flies being unable to beat their wings. These results indicate that the COOH terminus of flightin is necessary for normal myofilament lattice organization, thereby facilitating the cross-bridge binding required to achieve high power output for flight.
Project description:In contrast to experimentally observed progressive forces in eccentric contractions, cross-bridge and sliding-filament theories of muscle contraction predict that varying myofilament overlap will lead to increases and decreases in active force during eccentric contractions. Non-cross-bridge contributions potentially explain the progressive total forces. However, it is not clear whether underlying abrupt changes in the slope of the nonlinear force-length relationship are visible in long isokinetic stretches, and in which proportion cross-bridges and non-cross-bridges contribute to muscle force. Here, we show that maximally activated single skinned rat muscle fibres behave (almost across the entire working range) like linear springs. The force slope is about three times the maximum isometric force per optimal length. Cross-bridge and non-cross-bridge contributions to the muscle force were investigated using an actomyosin inhibitor. The experiments revealed a nonlinear progressive contribution of non-cross-bridge forces and suggest a nonlinear cross-bridge contribution similar to the active force-length relationship (though with increased optimal length and maximum isometric force). The linear muscle behaviour might significantly reduce the control effort. Moreover, the observed slight increase in slope with initial length is in accordance with current models attributing the non-cross-bridge force to titin.
Project description:In muscle, but not in single-molecule mechanics studies, actin, myosin and accessory proteins are incorporated into a highly ordered myofilament lattice. In view of this difference we compare results from single-molecule studies and muscle mechanics and analyze to what degree data from the two types of studies agree with each other. There is reasonable correspondence in estimates of the cross-bridge power-stroke distance (7⁻13 nm), cross-bridge stiffness (~2 pN/nm) and average isometric force per cross-bridge (6⁻9 pN). Furthermore, models defined on the basis of single-molecule mechanics and solution biochemistry give good fits to experimental data from muscle. This suggests that the ordered myofilament lattice, accessory proteins and emergent effects of the sarcomere organization have only minor modulatory roles. However, such factors may be of greater importance under e.g., disease conditions. We also identify areas where single-molecule and muscle data are conflicting: (1) whether force generation is an Eyring or Kramers process with just one major power-stroke or several sub-strokes; (2) whether the myofilaments and the cross-bridges have Hookean or non-linear elasticity; (3) if individual myosin heads slip between actin sites under certain conditions, e.g., in lengthening; or (4) if the two heads of myosin cooperate.