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The technique of fluorescence quenching by the non-ionic quenchers acrylamide and nicotinamide has been used to probe the accessibility of the environmentally sensitive N-(bromoacetyl)-N'-(1-sulpho-5-naphthyl) ethylenediamine (1,5-Br-AEDANS) fluorophore attached to either Cys-177 of the A1-light chain or the SH1 thiol (Cys-707) of the myosin subfragment (S1) heavy chain. Neither quencher caused any detrimental effects to the ATPase activities of S1 under the conditions of the experiments. It was found that the fluorophore on the isolated light chain was highly exposed to solvent and although this exposure was reduced on hybridization into S1(A1-AEDANS), the probe was still accessible to solvent. This exposure was unaltered by formation of binary complexes with either Mg.ATP or actin or by the formation of a weakly associated acto-S1 complex (in which the Cys-697 and Cys-707 residues of S1 were crosslinked with p-phenylenedimaleimide). The lack of corresponding change in lambda max of emission and quantum yield supported the quenching date and indicated that actin neither binds directly to this region nor induces any significant conformational changes in this locality despite the observation that the A1-Cys-707 moves some 3 nm closer to a point on actin in the weak-binding state (Trayer, H.R. and Trayer, I.P. (1988) Biochemistry, 27, 5718-5727). Parallel experiments with the fluorophore attached to the Cys-707 of the S1 indicated that this region was less accessible to solvent than the light chain thiol despite its ease of labelling. This exposure was not significantly altered by binary complex formation with actin and Mg.ATP, although spectral changes in the absence of quencher support the notion that some conformational change is occurring in this region.


D G Bhandari, S Jackson, I P Trayer. Dynamic quenching studies of fluorophore-labelled myosin subfragment 1 and its alkali light chain subunits. Biochimica et biophysica acta. 1991 Apr 29;1077(3):385-91

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PMID: 2029538

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