Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to monitor the orientation of muscle cross-bridges attached to actin in a low force and high stiffness state that may occur before force generation in the actomyosin cycle of interactions. 2,3-butanedione monoxime (BDM) has been shown to act as an uncompetitive inhibitor of the myosin ATPase that stabilizes a myosin.ADP.P(i) complex. Such a complex is thought to attach to actin at the beginning of the powerstroke. Addition of 25 mM BDM decreases tension by 90%, although stiffness remains high, 40–50% of control, showing that cross-bridges are attached to actin but generate little or no force. Active cross-bridge orientation was monitored via electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy of a maleimide spin probe rigidly attached to cys-707 (SH-1) on the myosin head. A new labeling procedure was used that showed improved specificity of labeling. In 25 mM BDM, the probes have an almost isotropic angular distribution, indicating that cross-bridges are highly disordered. We conclude that in the pre-powerstroke state stabilized by BDM, cross-bridges are attached to actin, generating little force, with a large portion of the catalytic domain of the myosin heads disordered. © 1995, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.
Zhao, L., Naber, N., & Cooke, R. (1995). Muscle cross-bridges bound to actin are disordered in the presence of 2,3-butanedione monoxime. Biophysical Journal, 68(5), 1980–1990. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(95)80375-9