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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Alternative exon-encoded regions of Drosophila myosin heavy chain modulate ATPase rates and actin sliding velocity.

To investigate the molecular functions of the regions encoded by alternative exons from the single Drosophila myosin heavy chain gene, we made the first kinetic measurements of two muscle myosin isoforms that differ in all alternative regions. Myosin was purified from the indirect flight muscles of wild-type and transgenic flies expressing a major embryonic isoform. The in vitro actin sliding velocity on the flight muscle isoform (6.4 microm x s(-1) at 22 degrees C) is among the fastest reported for a type II myosin and was 9-fold faster than with the embryonic isoform. With smooth muscle tropomyosin bound to actin, the actin sliding velocity on the embryonic isoform increased 6-fold, whereas that on the flight muscle myosin slightly decreased. No difference in the step sizes of Drosophila and rabbit skeletal myosins were found using optical tweezers, suggesting that the slower in vitro velocity with the embryonic isoform is due to altered kinetics. Basal ATPase rates for flight muscle myosin are higher than those of embryonic and rabbit myosin. These differences explain why the embryonic myosin cannot functionally substitute in vivo for the native flight muscle isoform, and demonstrate that one or more of the five myosin heavy chain alternative exons must influence Drosophila myosin kinetics.[1]


  1. Alternative exon-encoded regions of Drosophila myosin heavy chain modulate ATPase rates and actin sliding velocity. Swank, D.M., Bartoo, M.L., Knowles, A.F., Iliffe, C., Bernstein, S.I., Molloy, J.E., Sparrow, J.C. J. Biol. Chem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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