Ten monoclonal antibodies (My1-10) against Dictyostelium discoideum myosin were prepared and characterized. Nine bound to the 210-kD heavy chain and one (My8) bound to the 18-kD light chain. They defined six topographically distinct antigenic sites of the heavy chain. Five binding sites (the My1, My5, My10 site, and the My2, My3, My4, and My9 sites) are located on the rod portion of the myosin molecule. The position of the sixth site (the My6 and My7 site) is less certain, but it appears to be near the junction of the globular heads and the rod. Three of the antibodies (My2, My3, and My6) bound to myosin filaments in solution and could be sedimented in stoichiometric amounts with the filamentous myosin. In contrast, My4, which recognized a site on the rod, inhibited the polymerization of monomeric myosin into filaments. A single antibody (My6) affected the actin-activated ATPase of myosin. The nature of the effect depended on the valency of the antibody and the myosin. Bivalent IgG and F(ab')2 fragments of My6 inhibited the actin-activated ATPase of filamentous myosin by 50% whereas univalent Fab' fragments increased the activity by 50%. The actin-activated ATPase activity of the soluble chymotryptic fragment of myosin was increased 80-90% by both F(ab')2 and Fab' of My6.

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