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Small-angle X-ray diffraction studies of a molluscan smooth muscle in the catch state

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      Small-angle X-ray diffraction patterns from the anterior byssus retractor muscle of Mytilus edulis in the resting, active, and catch states were examined closely to elucidate the structural features of catch. The specimens were isometrically contracted by stimulation with acetylcholine. The specimens that produced strong tensions in both the active and catch states showed noticeable structural change in the thick filaments. Although the tension was weaker in the catch state than in the active state, the axial spacings of the 14.5 nm meridional reflection and its higher order reflections from the thick filaments were more elongated in the catch state than in the active state. This means that the thick filaments were stretched more strongly in the catch state than in the active state.

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      Unphosphorylated twitchin forms a complex with actin and myosin that may contribute to tension maintenance in catch.

      Molluscan smooth muscle can maintain tension over extended periods with little energy expenditure, a process termed catch. Catch is thought to be regulated by phosphorylation of a thick filament protein, twitchin, and involves two phosphorylation sites, D1 and D2, close to the N and C termini, respectively. This study was initiated to investigate the role of the D2 site and its phosphorylation in the catch mechanism. A peptide was constructed containing the D2 site and flanking immunoglobulin (Ig) motifs. It was shown that the dephosphorylated peptide, but not the phosphorylated form, bound to both actin and myosin. The binding site on actin was within the sequence L10 to P29. This region also binds to loop 2 of the myosin head. The dephosphorylated peptide linked myosin and F-actin and formed a trimeric complex. Electron microscopy revealed that twitchin is distributed on the surface of the thick filament with an axial periodicity of 36.25 nm and it is suggested that the D2 site aligns with the myosin heads. It is proposed that the complex formed with the dephosphorylated D2 site of twitchin, F-actin and myosin represents a component of the mechanical linkage in catch.
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        Phosphorylation of a twitchin-related protein controls catch and calcium sensitivity of force production in invertebrate smooth muscle.

        "Catch" is a condition of prolonged, high-force maintenance at resting intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]) and very low energy usage, occurring in invertebrate smooth muscles, including the anterior byssus retractor muscle (ABRM) of Mytilus edulis. Relaxation from catch is rapid on serotonergic nerve stimulation in intact muscles and application of cAMP in permeabilized muscles. This release of catch occurs by protein kinase A-mediated phosphorylation of a high (approximately 600 kDa) molecular mass protein, the regulator of catch. Here, we identify the catch-regulating protein as a homologue of the mini-titin, twitchin, based on (i) a partial cDNA of the purified isolated protein showing 77% amino acid sequence identity to the kinase domain of Aplysia californica twitchin; (ii) a polyclonal antibody to a synthetic peptide in this sequence reacting with the phosphorylated catch-regulating protein band from permeabilized ABRM; and (iii) the similarity of the amino acid composition and molecular weight of the protein to twitchin. In permeabilized ABRM, at all but maximum [Ca2+], phosphorylation of twitchin results in a decreased calcium sensitivity of force production (half-maximum at 2.5 vs. 1.3 microM calcium). At a given submaximal force, with equal numbers of force generators, twitchin phosphorylation increased unloaded shortening velocity approximately 2-fold. These data suggest that aspects of the catch state exist not only at resting [Ca2+], but also at higher submaximal [Ca2+]. The mechanism that gives rise to force maintenance in catch probably operates together, to some extent, with that of cycling myosin crossbridges.
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          Catch force links and the low to high force transition of myosin.

          Catch is characterized by maintenance of force with very low energy utilization in some invertebrate muscles. Catch is regulated by phosphorylation of the mini-titin, twitchin, and a catch component of force exists at all [Ca2+] except those resulting in maximum force. The mechanism responsible for catch force was characterized by determining how the effects of agents that inhibit the low to high force transition of the myosin cross-bridge (inorganic phosphate, butanedione monoxime, trifluoperazine, and blebbistatin) are modified by twitchin phosphorylation and [Ca2+]. In permeabilized anterior byssus retractor muscles from Mytilus edulis, catch force was identified as being sensitive to twitchin phosphorylation, whereas noncatch force was insensitive. In all cases, inhibition of the low to high force transition caused an increase in catch force. The same relationship exists between catch force and noncatch force whether force is varied by changes in [Ca2+] and/or agents that inhibit cross-bridge force production. This suggests that myosin in the high force state detaches catch force maintaining structures, whereas myosin in the low force state promotes their formation. It is unlikely that the catch structure is the myosin cross-bridge; rather, it appears that myosin interacts with the structure, most likely twitchin, and regulates its attachment and detachment.

            Author and article information

            Department of Physics, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minami-Ohsawa, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397 Japan
            J Muscle Res Cell Motil
            Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility
            Springer Netherlands (Dordrecht )
            18 July 2008
            January 2008
            : 29
            : 1
            : 57-68
            © The Author(s) 2008
            Original Paper
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            © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008


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