Tropomyosins from bovine aorta and pulmonary artery exhibit identical electrophoretic patterns in sodium dodecyl sulfate but differ from tropomyosins of either chicken gizzard or rabbit skeletal muscle. Each of the four tropomyosins binds readily to skeletal muscle F-actin as indicated by their sedimentation with actin and by their ability to maximally stimulate or inhibit actin-activated ATPase activity at a molar ratio of one tropomyosin per seven actin monomers. Smooth and skeletal muscle tropomyosins differ in their effects on activity of skeletal myosin or heavy meromyosin (HMM); the former can enhance activity under conditions in which the latter inhibits. Gizzard and arterial tropomyosins are usually equally effective in stimulating ATPase activity of skeletal acto-HMM, but at high concentrations of Mg2+ gizzard tropomyosin is more effective, a result that cannot be attributed to differences in the binding of the two tropomyosins to F-actin. The effects of tropomyosin also depend on the type of myosin; tropomyosin enhances activity of gizzard myosin under conditions in which it inhibits that of skeletal myosin. Increasing the pH or the Mg2+ concentration can reverse the effect of tropomyosin on actin-stimulated ATPase activity of skeletal HMM from activation to inhibition, but this reversal is not found with gizzard myosin. Activity in the absence of tropomyosin is independent of pH, and the loss of activation with increasing pH is not accompanied by loss of binding of tropomyosin to actin.
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