All-Atom Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Actin–Myosin Interactions: A Comparative Study of Cardiac α Myosin, β Myosin, and Fast Skeletal Muscle Myosin
mediaposted on 26.11.2013, 00:00 by Minghui Li, Wenjun Zheng
Myosins are a superfamily of actin-binding motor proteins with significant variations in kinetic properties (such as actin binding affinity) between different isoforms. It remains unknown how such kinetic variations arise from the structural and dynamic tuning of the actin–myosin interface at the amino acid residue level. To address this key issue, we have employed molecular modeling and simulations to investigate, with atomistic details, the isoform dependence of actin–myosin interactions in the rigor state. By combining electron microscopy-based docking with homology modeling, we have constructed three all-atom models for human cardiac α and β and rabbit fast skeletal muscle myosin in complex with three actin subunits in the rigor state. Starting from these models, we have performed extensive all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations (total of 100 ns per system) and then used the MD trajectories to calculate actin–myosin binding free energies with contributions from both electrostatic and nonpolar forces. Our binding calculations are in good agreement with the experimental finding of isoform-dependent differences in actin binding affinity between these myosin isoforms. Such differences are traced to changes in actin–myosin electrostatic interactions (i.e., hydrogen bonds and salt bridges) that are highly dynamic and involve several flexible actin-binding loops. By partitioning the actin–myosin binding free energy to individual myosin residues, we have also identified key myosin residues involved in the actin–myosin interactions, some of which were previously validated experimentally or implicated in cardiomyopathy mutations, and the rest make promising targets for future mutational experiments.