Smooth muscle myosin acts as a molecular motor only if the regulatory light chain (RLC) is phosphorylated. This subunit can be removed from myosin by a novel method involving the use of trifluoperazine. The motility of RLC-deficient myosin is very slow, but native properties are restored when RLC is rebound. Truncating 6 residues from the COOH terminus of the RLC had no effect on phosphorylated myosin's motor properties, while removal of the last 12 residues reduced velocity by approximately 30%. Very slow movement was observed once 26 residues were deleted, or with myosin containing only the COOH-terminal RLC domain. These two mutants thus mimicked the behavior of RLC-deficient myosin, with the important difference that the mutant myosins were monodisperse when assayed by sedimentation velocity and electron microscopy. The decreased motility therefore cannot be caused by aggregation. A common feature of RLC-deficient myosin and the mutant myosins that moved actin slowly was an increased myosin ATPase compared with dephosphorylated myosin, and a lower actin-activated ATPase than obtained with phosphorylated myosin. These results suggest that the COOH-terminal portion of an intact RLC is involved in interactions that regulate myosin's "on-off" switch, both in terms of completely inhibiting and completely activating the molecule.
Coupling of ATPase activity and motility in smooth muscle myosin is mediated by the regulatory light chain
KM Trybus, GS Waller, TA Chatman; Coupling of ATPase activity and motility in smooth muscle myosin is mediated by the regulatory light chain. J Cell Biol 15 March 1994; 124 (6): 963–969. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.124.6.963
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