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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)
Purified smooth muscle myosin in the in vitro motility assay propels actin filaments at 1/10 the velocity, yet produces 3-4 times more force than skeletal muscle myosin. At the level of a single myosin molecule, these differences in force and actin filament velocity may be reflected in the size and duration of single motion and force-generating events, or(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)
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)
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)
Acidosis (low pH) is the oldest putative agent of muscular fatigue, but the molecular mechanism underlying its depressive effect on muscular performance remains unresolved. Therefore, the effect of low pH on the molecular mechanics and kinetics of chicken skeletal muscle myosin was studied using in vitro motility (IVM) and single molecule laser trap assays.(More)
Numerous biological processes, including muscular contraction, depend upon the mechanical properties of actin filaments. One such property is resistance to bending (flexural rigidity, EI). To estimate EI, we attached the ends of fluorescently labelled actin filaments to two microsphere 'handles' captured in independent laser traps. The positions of the(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)
To better understand how skeletal muscle myosin molecules move actin filaments, we determine the motion-generating biochemistry of a single myosin molecule and study how it scales with the motion-generating biochemistry of an ensemble of myosin molecules. First, by measuring the effects of various ligands (ATP, ADP, and P(i)) on event lifetimes, tau(on), in(More)