Inotropic interventions do not change the resting state of myosin motors during cardiac diastole


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Abstract

When striated (skeletal and cardiac) muscle is in its relaxed state, myosin motors are packed in helical tracks on the surface of the thick filament, folded toward the center of the sarcomere, and unable to bind actin or hydrolyze ATP (OFF state). This raises the question of whatthe mechanism is that integrates the Ca2+-dependent thin filament activation, making myosin heads available for interaction with actin. Here we test the interdependency of the thin and thick filament regulatory mechanisms in intact trabeculae from the rat heart. We record the x-ray diffraction signals that mark the state of the thick filament during inotropic interventions (increase in sarcomere length from 1.95 to 2.25 μm and addition of 10−7 M isoprenaline), which potentiate the twitch force developed by an electrically paced trabecula by up to twofold. During diastole, none of the signals related to the OFF state of the thick filament are significantly affected by these interventions, except the intensity of both myosin-binding protein C- and troponin-related meridional reflections, which reduce by 20% in the presence of isoprenaline. These results indicate that recruitment of myosin motors from their OFF state occurs independently and downstream from thin filament activation. This is in agreement with the recently discovered mechanism based on thick filament mechanosensing in which the number of motors available for interaction with actin rapidly adapts to the stress on the thick filament and thus to the loading conditions of the contraction. The gain of this positive feedback may be modulated by both sarcomere length and the degree of phosphorylation of myosin-binding protein C.Thick filament mechanosensing has been proposed as the mechanism by which myosin motors in cardiac muscle become available to bind actin. Accordingly, Caremani et al., using x-ray diffraction from intact rat trabeculae, show that myosin motors fully return to their OFF state during diastole independently of inotropic interventions.

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