Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

One path to understanding energy transduction in biological systems

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Woods Hole Physiology Course, 1963.
Figure 2: Many of the contributors to the discoveries regarding energy transduction by myosins and the roles of myosins in nonmuscle cells.
Figure 3: Dictyostelium has a muscle-like myosin and membrane-associated actin.
Figure 4: One approach to an in vitro motility assay from a totally defined system.
Figure 5: The actin-activated myosin chemomechanical cycle.
Figure 6: In vitro motility taken to the single-molecule level using the physics of laser trapping.

References

  1. Huxley, H.E. The mechanism of muscular contraction. Science 164, 1356–1365 (1969).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Spudich, J.L. The multitalented microbial sensory rhodopsins. Trends Microbiol. 14, 480–487 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Spudich, J.A. & Hastings, J.W. Inhibition of the bioluminescent oxidation of reduced flavin mononucleotide by 2-decenal. J. Biol. Chem. 238, 3106–3108 (1963).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Spudich, J.A., Huxley, H.E. & Finch, J. Regulation of skeletal muscle contraction. II. Structural studies of the interaction of the tropomyosin-troponin complex with actin. J. Mol. Biol. 72, 619–632 (1972).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Kersey, Y.M., Hepler, P.K., Palevitz, B.A. & Wessells, N.K. Polarity of actin filaments in Characean algae. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 73, 165–167 (1976).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Spudich, J.A. Biochemical and structural studies of actomyosin-like proteins from nonmuscle cells. II. Purification, properties, and membrane association of actin from amoebae of Dictyostelium discoideum. J. Biol. Chem. 249, 6013–6020 (1974).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. De Lozanne, A. & Spudich, J.A. Disruption of the Dictyostelium myosin heavy chain gene by homologous recombination. Science 236, 1086–1091 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Manstein, D.J., Titus, M.A., De Lozanne, A. & Spudich, J.A. Gene replacement in Dictyostelium: generation of myosin null mutants. EMBO J. 8, 923–932 (1989).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Uyeda, T.Q.P., Abramson, P.D. & Spudich, J.A. The neck region of the myosin motor domain acts as a lever arm to generate movement. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 93, 4459–4464 (1996).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Sheetz, M.P. & Spudich, J.A. Movement of myosin-coated fluorescent beads on actin cables in vitro. Nature 303, 31–35 (1983).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Spudich, J.A., Kron, S.J. & Sheetz, M.P. Movement of myosin-coated beads on oriented filaments reconstituted from purified actin. Nature 315, 584–586 (1985).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Yanagida, T., Nakase, M., Nishiyama, K. & Oosawa, F. Direct observation of motion of single F-actin filaments in the presence of myosin. Nature 307, 58–60 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Kron, S.J. & Spudich, J.A. Fluorescent actin filaments move on myosin fixed to a glass surface. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 83, 6272–6276 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Toyoshima, Y.Y. et al. Myosin subfragment-1 is sufficient to move actin filaments in vitro. Nature 328, 536–539 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Lymn, R.W. & Taylor, E.W. Mechanism of adenosine triphosphate hydrolysis by actomyosin. Biochemistry 10, 4617–4624 (1971).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Rayment, I. et al. Three-dimensional structure of myosin subfragment-1: a molecular motor. Science 261, 50–58 (1993).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Finer, J.T., Simmons, R.M. & Spudich, J.A. Single myosin molecule mechanics: piconewton forces and nanometre steps. Nature 368, 113–119 (1994).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Bryant, Z., Altman, D. & Spudich, J.A. The power stroke of myosin VI and the basis of reverse directionality. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 772–777 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Discoveries in science are a community enterprise involving scores of investigators making pivotal contributions along the way. In this short essay, I have necessarily left out the names of many people who contributed to the breakthroughs we made on the workings of cellular motors. I thank all the members of my laboratory over these many years, with whom I have shared the joys of discovery. My mentors have my gratitude for their support and encouragement and for sharing with me their own ways of creative research. It has also been my privilege to share the excitement of discoveries with my fellow faculty colleagues first at the University of California–San Francisco and for the last 35 years at Stanford University. I also thank K. VijayRaghavan, S. Mayor and my colleagues at the National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore for incorporating me into their inspiring and innovative scientific activities for the last ten years. And my immense gratitude goes to my family, first and foremost to my wife Anna for bringing her energy, keen intellect and unwavering support into my life. My daughters Rani and Serena carry on the values my parents imparted to me, and they, together with my erudite sons-in-law Dan and Dave and my 'cool' grandchildren Indira, Hana, Anjali, Alexander and Nathaniel, are the joys of my life. Our work would not have been possible without the generous financial support from the US National Institutes of Health and grants from the Human Frontiers Science Program.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to James A Spudich.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Spudich, J. One path to understanding energy transduction in biological systems. Nat Med 18, 1478–1482 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.2924

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.2924

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing