Smooth Muscle Myosin Heavy Chains Combine to Form Three Native Myosin Isoforms

Document Type




Format of Original

10 p.

Publication Date



American Physiological Society

Source Publication

American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology

Source ISSN



Two smooth muscle myosin heavy chains (MHC; SM1 and SM2) of approximately 204 and 200 kDa exist in smooth muscle cells and can be visualized on reducing sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gels. Chymotryptic digestion of the native myosin molecule results in two fragments: heavy meromyosin (HMM) and light meromyosin (LMM). LMM is the alpha-helical coiled-coil carboxy terminal half of the molecule containing the difference peptide between SM1 and SM2. Electrophoresis of the LMM fragments on a reducing SDS-polyacrylamide gel resolves two subunits from the two MHC [LM1 from SM1 (approximately 100 kDa) and LM2 from SM2 (approximately 95 kDa), where LM1 and LM2 are LMM from SM1 and SM2, respectively]. CuCl2 oxidation of the LMM fragment forms intramolecular disulfide bonds between adjacent cysteines on the two LMM fragments. When the native LMM is oxidized with CuCl2 and run on a nonreducing SDS-polyacrylamide gel, three bands are observed, which migrate at approximately 195, 190, and 185 kDa (bands 1, 2, and 3). Excision of these bands and electrophoresis on a reducing SDS-polyacrylamide gel show their subunit composition. Band 1 is composed solely of LM1. Band 2 is composed of an equal ratio of LM1 and LM2, and band 3 is composed solely of LM2. Using a variety of biochemical procedures, along with nonreducing SDS-polyacrylamide gels, we interpret these results to indicate that there are three smooth muscle myosin isoforms that result from the various combinations of the two smooth muscle MHC (SM1 homodimer, SM1-SM2 heterodimer, and SM2 homodimer).


American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, Vol. 264, No. 5 (May 1993): H1653-H1662. Permalink.