Department of Cell Biology
Medical Subject Headings
Carrier Proteins; Myosins; Actins; Electron Microscope Tomography; Sarcomeres
Myosin binding protein C (MyBP-C or C-protein) is a protein of the thick (myosin-containing) filaments of striated muscle thought to be involved in the modulation of cardiac contraction in response to beta-adrenergic stimulation. The mechanism of this modulation is unknown, but one possibility is through transient binding of the N-terminal end of MyBP-C to the thin (actin-containing) filaments. While such binding has been demonstrated in vitro, it was not known until recently whether such a link between thick and thin filaments also occurred in vivo. Here we review a recent paper in which electron microscopy (EM) is used to directly demonstrate MyBP-C links between myosin and actin filaments in the intact sarcomere, suggesting a possible physical mechanism for modulating filament sliding. Molecular details of MyBP-C binding to actin have recently been elucidated by EM of isolated filaments: the results suggest that MyBP-C might contribute to the modulation of contraction in part by competing with tropomyosin for binding sites on actin. New results on the structure and dynamics of the MyBP-C molecule provide additional insights into the function of this enigmatic molecule.
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Citation: Bioarchitecture. 2011 Nov 1;1(6):277-283. Link to article on publisher's site