To examine the importance of the central α-helix of troponin C (TnC) we have bacterially expressed one of the isoforms of barnacle TnC (BTnC2), BTnCWT, but without the aspartate residue at position 80 in the central helix (BTnC80-). This manipulation is expected to produce an approximately 100°axial rotation of the C-domain with respect to the N-domain, and a net charge change of -1. BTnC80- mutant was able to restore force to TnC-depleted skinned barnacle myofibrillar bundles to a greater extent than wild-type protein (≃170%). Competition experiments between BTnC80- and BTnC2-4-, a mutant lacking both of the calcium-specific sites (sites II and IV), shows that deletion of a single amino acid in the central helix results in a protein with increased affinity for the thin filament and one that is bound preferentially compared to BTnC2-4- when at equimolar concentrations.
- Central-helix troponin C
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