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Smooth muscle's stress equals that of skeletal muscle with less myosin. Thus, under isometric conditions, smooth muscle myosin may spend a greater fraction of its cycle time attached to actin in a high force state (i.e. higher duty cycle). If so, then smooth muscle myosin may also have a higher duty cycle under unloaded conditions. To test this, we used an(More)
Myosin V, a double-headed molecular motor, transports organelles within cells by walking processively along actin, a process that requires coordination between the heads. To understand the mechanism underlying this coordination, processive runs of single myosin V molecules were perturbed by varying nucleotide content. Contrary to current views, our results(More)
Although it is generally believed that phosphorylation of the regulatory light chain of myosin is required before smooth muscle can develop force, it is not known if the overall degree of phosphorylation can also modulate the rate at which cross-bridges cycle. To address this question, an in vitro motility assay was used to observe the motion of single(More)
The double-headed myosin V molecular motor carries intracellular cargo processively along actin tracks in a hand-over-hand manner. To test this hypothesis at the molecular level, we observed single myosin V molecules that were differentially labeled with quantum dots having different emission spectra so that the position of each head could be identified(More)
Several classes of the myosin superfamily are distinguished by their "double-headed" structure, where each head is a molecular motor capable of hydrolyzing ATP and interacting with actin to generate force and motion. The functional significance of this dimeric structure, however, has eluded investigators since its discovery in the late 1960s. Using an(More)
In contracting muscle, individual myosin molecules function as part of a large ensemble, hydrolyzing ATP to power the relative sliding of actin filaments. The technological advances that have enabled direct observation and manipulation of single molecules, including recent experiments that have explored myosin's force-dependent properties, provide detailed(More)
In smooth muscle, a cross-bridge mechanism is believed to be responsible for active force generation and fiber shortening. In the present studies, the viscoelastic and kinetic properties of the cross-bridge were probed by eliciting tension transients in response to small, rapid, step length changes (delta L = 0.3-1.0% Lcell in 2 ms). Tension transients were(More)
Intracellular cargo transport requires microtubule-based motors, kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein, and the actin-based myosin motors to maneuver through the challenges presented by the filamentous meshwork that comprises the cytoskeleton. Recent in vitro single molecule biophysical studies have begun to explore this process by characterizing what occurs as(More)
Organelle transport to the periphery of the cell involves coordinated transport between the processive motors kinesin and myosin V. Long-range transport takes place on microtubule tracks, whereas final delivery involves shorter actin-based movements. The concept that motors only function on their appropriate track required further investigation with the(More)
Recent research efforts from several groups have addressed the question of whether the amplitude of myosin's unitary step size is proportional to the length of the neck region. Unconventional myosin V, which has an extended neck region with 6IQ motifs, provides a natural template by which to test the lever arm model via mutational analysis. The most(More)