Myosin light chain-actin interaction regulates cardiac contractility


  • I. Morano
  • O. Ritter
  • A. Bonz
  • T. Timek
  • C.F. Vahl
  • G. Michel


  • Circulation Research


  • Circ Res 76 (5): 720-725


  • The amino-terminal domain of the essential myosin light chain (MLC-1) binds to the carboxy terminus of the actin molecule. We studied the functional role of this interaction by two approaches: first, incubation of intact and chemically skinned human heart fibers with synthetic peptide corresponding to the sequences 5 through 14 (P5-14), 5 through 8 (P5-8), and 5 through 10 (P5-10) of the human ventricular MLC-1 (VLC-1) to saturate actin-binding sites, and second, incubation of skinned human heart fibers with a monoclonal antibody (MabVLC-1) raised against the actin-interacting N-terminal domain of human VLC-1 using P5-14 as antigen to deteriorate VLC-1 binding to actin. P5-14 increased isometric tension generation of skinned human heart fibers at both submaximal and maximal Ca2+ activation, the maximal effective peptide dosage being in the nanomolar range. A scrambled peptide of P5-14 with random sequence had no effects up to 10(-8) mol/L, ie, where P5-14 was maximally effective. P5-8 and P5-10 increased isometric force to the same extent as P5-14, but micromolar concentrations were required. Amplitude of isometric twitch contraction, rate of tension development, rate of relaxation, and shortening velocity at near-zero load of electrically driven intact human atrial fibers increased significantly on incubation with P5-14. These alterations were not associated with modulation of intracellular Ca2+ transients as monitored by fura 2 fluorescence measurements. Incubation of skinned human heart fibers with MabVLC-1 increased isometric tension at both submaximal and maximal Ca2+ activation levels, having a maximal effective concentration in the femtomolar range.