Binding of myosin light chain kinase to cellular actin-myosin filaments.
ABSTRACT Myosin light chain kinase binds to the actomyosin-containing filaments in smooth and nonmuscle cells. However, the region of the kinase necessary for this high affinity binding in vivo is not known, although it has been proposed that the N and C termini bind to actin and myosin in vitro, respectively. Truncated myosin light chain kinases containing the catalytic core and calmodulin-binding domain but lacking N (amino acids 1-655) and/or C (amino acids 1004-1147) termini were expressed in the baculovirus system and purified. All enzymes were catalytically active and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent. The C-terminal truncated myosin light chain kinase bound to detergent-washed smooth muscle contractile proteins similar to recombinant full-length myosin light chain kinase or enzyme purified from smooth muscle. The apparent affinity of the full-length kinase was greater for the actomyosin-containing filaments with associated proteins than for purified smooth muscle F-actin or actomyosin filaments from skeletal muscle. In contrast, truncations at the N terminus alone or at both N and C termini resulted in no significant binding. Similar effects were observed by two other assays: binding of fluorescently labeled myosin light chain kinases to actin-containing stress fibers in detergent-treated fibroblasts and localization of fluorescently labeled kinases after microinjection into primary smooth muscle cells in culture. The full-length and the C-terminal truncated myosin light chain kinases, but not myosin light chain kinases truncated at the N terminus or both N and C termini, associated with filaments in cells. Thus, the N terminus and not the C terminus of myosin light chain kinase is necessary for high affinity binding to actomyosin-containing filaments in smooth and nonmuscle cells.
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ABSTRACT: The functional properties of airway smooth muscle are fundamental to the properties of the airways in vivo. However, many of the distinctive characteristics of smooth muscle are not easily accounted for on the basis of molecular models developed to account for the properties of striated muscles. The specialized ultrastructural features and regulatory mechanisms present in smooth muscle are likely to form the basis for many of its characteristic properties. The molecular organization and structure of the contractile apparatus in smooth muscle is consistent with a model of force generation based on the relative sliding of adjacent actin and myosin filaments. In airway smooth muscle, actomyosin activation is initiated by the phosphorylation of the 20 kDa light chain of myosin; but there is conflicting evidence regarding the role of myosin light chain phosphorylation in tension maintenance. Tension generated by the contractile filaments is transmitted throughout the cell via a network of actin filaments anchored at dense plaques at the cell membrane, where force is transmitted to the extracellular matrix via transmembrane integrins. Proteins bound to actin and/or localized to actin filament anchorage sites may participate in regulating the shape of the smooth muscle cell and the organization of its contractile filament system. These proteins may also participate in signalling pathways that regulate the crossbridge activation and other functions of the actin cytoskeleton. The length-dependence of active force and the mechanical plasticity of airway smooth muscle may play an important role in determining airway responsiveness during lung volume changes in vivo. The molecular basis for the length-dependence of tension in smooth muscle differs from that in skeletal muscle, and may involve mechano-transduction mechanisms that modulate contractile filament activation and cytoskeletal organization in response to changes in muscle length. The reorganization of contractile filaments may also underlie the plasticity of the mechanical response of airway smooth muscle. Changes in the structural organization and signalling pathways of airway smooth muscle cells resulting form alterations in mechanical forces in the lung may be important factors in the development of pathophysiological conditions of chronic airway hyperresponsiveness.European Respiratory Journal 04/2000; 15(3):600-16. · 5.89 Impact Factor