A.N. Bach Institute of Biochemistry, Research Center of Biotechnology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119071, Russia; A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University, Moscow, 119234, Russia. Electronic address: [Email]
Tropomyosin (Tpm) is an α-helical coiled-coil actin-binding protein that plays a key role in the Ca2+-regulated contraction of striated muscles. Two Tpm isoforms, α (Tpm 1.1) and β (Tpm 2.2), are expressed in fast skeletal muscles. These Tpm isoforms can form either αα and ββ homodimers, or αβ heterodimers. However, only αα-Tpm and αβ-Tpm dimers are usually present in most of fast skeletal muscles, because ββ-homodimers are relatively unstable and cannot exist under physiologic conditions. Nevertheless, the most of previous studies of myopathy-causing mutations in the Tpm β-chains were performed on the ββ-homodimers. In the present work, we applied different methods to investigate the effects of two myopathic mutations in the β-chain, Q147P and K49del (i.e. deletion of Lys49), on structural and functional properties of Tpm αβ-heterodimers and to compare them with the properties of ββ-homodimers carrying these mutations in both β-chains. The results show that the properties of αβ-Tpm heterodimers with these mutations in the β-chain differ significantly from the properties of ββ-homodimers with the same substitutions in both β-chains. This indicates that the αβ-heterodimer is a more appropriate model for studying the effects of myopathic mutations in the β-chain of Tpm than the ββ-homodimer which virtually does not exist in human skeletal muscles.