Atomic Resolution of Muscle Contraction
Credit: Osaka University
A group of researchers led by Specially Appointed Assistant Professor FUJII Takashi and Professor NAMBA Keiichi unraveled the three-dimensional structure of actomyosin rigor complex (complex of actin and myosin filaments), clarifying how skeletal muscles contract at high speed and high efficiency, a world first.
It had been thought that binding of actin filament consisting of skeletal muscles to myosin filament changed muscle structure and generated muscle contraction; however, how myosin filament used adenosine triphosphate (ATP), an energy source, and why skeletal muscles could contract at high speed and high efficiency were not known.
The group took images of actomyosin rigor complex with cryo-electron microscopy and examined its 3D structure by using image analysis methods. This group demonstrated the structural change of myosin head at the time of strong binding of myosin to actin filament and clarified that thermal fluctuations were used as contraction energy.
The group has elucidated the mechanism of quick muscle contraction and its high energy efficiency. It is hoped that this will be applied to the design of energy-saving nanodevices based on this mechanism.
Fujii, T., & Namba, K. (2017). Structure of actomyosin rigour complex at 5.2 Å resolution and insights into the ATPase cycle mechanism. Nature Communications, 8, 13969. doi:10.1038/ncomms13969
This article has been republished from materials provided by Osaka University. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Bacteria Eats Greenhouse Gas with a Side of ProteinNews
With the ability to leech heavy metals from the environment and digest a potent greenhouse gas, methanotrophic bacteria pull double duty when it comes to cleaning up the environment. Scientists have identified two never-before-studied proteins, MbnB and MbnC, as partially responsible for the bacteria’s capabilities.READ MORE
Microgel Mops Up Toxins Without Harming "Good" BacteriaNews
While it’s easy to blame the bacteria during intestinal infections, it’s actually the toxins the bacteria produce that trigger inflammation, diarrhea, fever and cramps. Treatments typically include indiscriminate antibiotics that slaughter health-promoting gut bacteria along with disease-causing microbes. Researchers now report the development of a microgel scavenger that targets toxins instead of bacteria.READ MORE
Rechargable Antibacterial Coating - Just Add Bleach!News
Stainless steel is the gold standard for kitchen appliances and cookware, described as modern and sleek. But bacteria can grow on stainless steel surfaces, contaminating food. Current coatings available on the market are pricey and potentially harmful, so scientists have now developed an affordable specialized polymer coating for such surfaces that they can recharge with bleach treatments.READ MORE