ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0255.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: bony fish muscle, insect flight muscle, myosin filament structure, myosin crossbridge cycle, thick filament activation, interacting heads motif
Online: 23 July 2019 (10:57:56 CEST)
Unlike electron microscopy, which can achieve very high resolutions, but to date can only be used to study static structures, time-resolved X-ray diffraction from contracting muscles can, in principle, be used to follow the molecular movements involved in force generation on a millisecond timescale albeit at moderate resolution. However, previous X-ray diffraction studies of resting muscles have come up with structures for the head arrangements in resting myosin filaments that are different from the apparently ubiquitous interacting heads motif (IHM) found by single particle analysis of electron micrographs of isolated myosin filaments from a variety of muscle types. This head organization is supposed to represent the super-relaxed state of the myosin filaments where ATP usage is minimized. Here we have tested whether the interacting heads motif structures will satisfactorily explain the observed low-angle X-ray diffraction patterns from resting vertebrate (bony fish) and invertebrate (insect flight) muscles. We find that the interacting heads motif does not, in fact, explain what is observed. Previous X-ray models fit the observations much better. We conclude that the X-ray diffraction evidence has been well interpreted in the past and that there is more than one ordered myosin head state in resting muscle. There is, therefore, no reason to question some of the previous X-ray diffraction results on myosin filaments; time-resolved X-ray diffraction should be a reliable way to follow crossbridge action in active muscle and may be one of the few ways to follow molecular changes in myosin heads on a millisecond timescale as force is actually produced.