Letter | Published:

Movement and force produced by a single myosin head

Nature volume 378, pages 209212 (09 November 1995) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

MUSCLE contraction is driven by the cyclical interaction of myosin with actin, coupled to the breakdown of ATP. Studies of the interaction of filamentous myosin1 and of a double-headed proteolytic fragment, heavy meromyosin (HMM)2,3, with actin have demonstrated discrete mechanical events, arising from stochastic interaction of single myosin molecules with actin. Here we show, using an optical-tweezers transducer2,4, that a single myosin subfragment-1 (S1), which is a single myosin head, can act as an independent generator of force and movement. Our analysis accounts for the broad distribution of displacement amplitudes observed, and indicates that the underlying movement (working stroke) produced by a single acto-Sl interaction is ˜4 nm, considerably shorter than previous estimates1–3,5 but consistent with structural data6. We measure the average force generated by S1 or HMM to be at least 1.7 pN under isometric conditions.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    et al. Biochem. biophys. Res. Commun. 199, 1057–1063 (1994).

  2. 2.

    , & Nature 368, 113–118 (1994).

  3. 3.

    et al. J. Biochem., Tokyo 115, 644–647 (1994).

  4. 4.

    , , & Optics Lett. 11, 288–290 (1986).

  5. 5.

    et al. Biophys. J. 68, 298s–305s (1995).

  6. 6.

    et al. Science 261, 50–58 (1993).

  7. 7.

    , , & Nature 326, 805–808 (1987).

  8. 8.

    et al. Nature 328, 536–539 (1987).

  9. 9.

    & Nature 334, 74–76 (1988).

  10. 10.

    Theory of the Brownian Movement (ed. Furth, R.) (Dover, 1956).

  11. 11.

    & Nature 233, 533–538 (1971).

  12. 12.

    , , & Nature 365, 721–727 (1993).

  13. 13.

    , , & Meth. Enzym. 196, 399–416 (1991).

  14. 14.

    , & Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 91, 12962–12966 (1994).

Download references

Author information

Author notes

    • J. Kendrick-Jones

    Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, UK

Affiliations

  1. Department of Biology, University of York, York Y01 5DW, UK

    • J. E. Molloy
    • , J. E. Burns
    • , J. Kendrick-Jones
    • , R. T. Tregear
    •  & D. C. S. White

Authors

  1. Search for J. E. Molloy in:

  2. Search for J. E. Burns in:

  3. Search for J. Kendrick-Jones in:

  4. Search for R. T. Tregear in:

  5. Search for D. C. S. White in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/378209a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.