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Myosin

Paul Dreizen, Lewis C. Gershman, Paul P. Trotta, Alfred Stracher

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There is fairly general agreement that myosin isolated from rabbit skeletal muscle has a molecular weight of about 500,000. The higher values that have been reported apparently reflect protein aggregation related to the method of preparation. On the basis of present evidence, the myosin molecule has an elongate helical core of two f subunits (average weight about 215,000) that extend into a globular head region containing three g subunits (average weight about 20,000). Myosin may be dissociated into subunits by a number of methods. In 5 M guanidine, the myosin molecule is dissociated into f and g subunits, while at pH above 10, the g subunits are dissociated from the intact fibrous core of myosin. The dissociation of g subunits at pH 10 is accompanied by the loss of both ATPase activity and actin-binding capacity; however, the exact biological significance of the g subunits is presently uncertain. In preliminary studies, the f subunits appear to contain the sulfhydryl residues currently implicated in myosin ATPase, and there is some indication of allosteric regulation of enzymic activity.