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      Actin-Myosin Interaction: Structure, Function and Drug Discovery

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          Actin-myosin interactions play crucial roles in the generation of cellular force and movement. The molecular mechanism involves structural transitions at the interface between actin and myosin’s catalytic domain, and within myosin’s light chain domain, which contains binding sites for essential (ELC) and regulatory light chains (RLC). High-resolution crystal structures of isolated actin and myosin, along with cryo-electron micrographs of actin-myosin complexes, have been used to construct detailed structural models for actin-myosin interactions. However, these methods are limited by disorder, particularly within the light chain domain, and they do not capture the dynamics within this complex under physiological conditions in solution. Here we highlight the contributions of site-directed fluorescent probes and time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) in understanding the structural dynamics of the actin-myosin complex in solution. A donor fluorescent probe on actin and an acceptor fluorescent probe on myosin, together with high performance TR-FRET, directly resolves structural states in the bound actin-myosin complex during its interaction with adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Results from these studies have profound implications for understanding the contractile function of actomyosin and establish the feasibility for the discovery of allosteric modulators of the actin-myosin interaction, with the ultimate goal of developing therapies for muscle disorders.

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          Most cited references 43

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          Creating new fluorescent probes for cell biology.

          Fluorescent probes are one of the cornerstones of real-time imaging of live cells and a powerful tool for cell biologists. They provide high sensitivity and great versatility while minimally perturbing the cell under investigation. Genetically-encoded reporter constructs that are derived from fluorescent proteins are leading a revolution in the real-time visualization and tracking of various cellular events. Recent advances include the continued development of 'passive' markers for the measurement of biomolecule expression and localization in live cells, and 'active' indicators for monitoring more complex cellular processes such as small-molecule-messenger dynamics, enzyme activation and protein-protein interactions.
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            Cardiac myosin activation: a potential therapeutic approach for systolic heart failure.

            Decreased cardiac contractility is a central feature of systolic heart failure. Existing drugs increase cardiac contractility indirectly through signaling cascades but are limited by their mechanism-related adverse effects. To avoid these limitations, we previously developed omecamtiv mecarbil, a small-molecule, direct activator of cardiac myosin. Here, we show that it binds to the myosin catalytic domain and operates by an allosteric mechanism to increase the transition rate of myosin into the strongly actin-bound force-generating state. Paradoxically, it inhibits adenosine 5'-triphosphate turnover in the absence of actin, which suggests that it stabilizes an actin-bound conformation of myosin. In animal models, omecamtiv mecarbil increases cardiac function by increasing the duration of ejection without changing the rates of contraction. Cardiac myosin activation may provide a new therapeutic approach for systolic heart failure.
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              Structure of the actin-myosin complex and its implications for muscle contraction


                Author and article information

                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                05 September 2018
                September 2018
                : 19
                : 9
                Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA; pgt@ 123456ddt.umn.edu (P.G.); ewa@ 123456ddt.umn.edu (E.P.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: ddt@ 123456umn.edu ; Tel.: +1-612-308-7410
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                Molecular biology

                actin, myosin, atp, fluorescence, fret, drug discovery, heart failure


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