Mechanism of blebbistatin inhibition of myosin II

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Abstract

Blebbistatin is a recently discovered small molecule inhibitor showing high affinity and selectivity toward myosin II. Here we report a detailed investigation of its mechanism of inhibition. Blebbistatin does not compete with nucleotide binding to the skeletal muscle myosin subfragment-1. The inhibitor preferentially binds to the ATPase intermediate with ADP and phosphate bound at the active site, and it slows down phosphate release. Blebbistatin interferes neither with binding of myosin to actin nor with ATP-induced actomyosin dissociation. Instead, it blocks the myosin heads in a products complex with low actin affinity. Blind docking molecular simulations indicate that the productive blebbistatin-binding site of the myosin head is within the aqueous cavity between the nucleotide pocket and the cleft of the actin-binding interface. The property that blebbistatin blocks myosin II in an actin-detached state makes the compound useful both in muscle physiology and in exploring the cellular function of cytoplasmic myosin II isoforms, whereas the stabilization of a specific myosin intermediate confers a great potential in structural studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35557-35563
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume279
Issue number34
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 20 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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