A common feature shared by myosin-binding proteins from a wide variety of species is the presence of a variable number of related internal motifs homologous to either the Ig C2 or the fibronectin (Fn) type III repeats. Despite interest in the potential function of these motifs, no group has clearly demonstrated a function for these sequences in muscle, either intra- or extracellularly. We have completed the nucleotide sequence of the fast type isoform of MyBP-C (C protein) from chicken skeletal muscle. The deduced amino acid sequence reveals seven Ig C2 sets and three Fn type III motifs in MyBP-C. alpha-chymotryptic digestion of purified MyBP-C gives rise to four peptides. NH2-terminal sequencing of these peptides allowed us to map the position of each along the primary structure of the protein. The 28-kD peptide contains the NH2-terminal sequence of MyBP-C, including the first C2 repeat. It is followed by two internal peptides, one of 5 kD containing exclusively spacer sequences between the first and second C2 motifs, and a 95-kD fragment containing five C2 domains and three fibronectin type III motifs. The C-terminal sequence of MyBP-C is present in a 14-kD peptide which contains only the last C2 repeat. We examined the binding properties of these fragments to reconstituted (synthetic) myosin filaments. Only the COOH-terminal 14-kD peptide is capable of binding myosin with high affinity. The NH2-terminal 28-kD fragment has no myosin-binding, while the long internal 100-kD peptide shows very weak binding to myosin. We have expressed and purified the 14-kD peptide in Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein exhibits saturable binding to myosin with an affinity comparable to that of the 14-kD fragment obtained by proteolytic digestion (1/2 max binding at approximately 0.5 microM). These results indicate that the binding to myosin filaments is mainly restricted to the last 102 amino acids of MyBP-C. The remainder of the molecule (1,032 amino acids) could interact with titin, MyBP-H (H protein) or thin filament components. A comparison of the highly conserved Ig C2 domains present at the COOH-terminus of five MyBPs thus far sequenced (human slow and fast MyBP-C, human and chicken MyBP-H, and chicken MyBP-C) was used to identify residues unique to these myosin-binding Ig C2 repeats.

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