Human nebulin fragments, NA3 and NA4, corresponding to individual superrepeats display high-affinity interactions with individual actin protomers in cosedimentation and solid-phase binding assays. Stoichiometric analysis of nebulin fragment-induced actin polymerization and inhibition of actin-activated S1 ATPase indicate that one superrepeat influences multiple actin molecules along the F-actin filament, consistent with a combination of strong and weak interactions of nebulin over the length of the actin filament. The mechanisms by which human nebulin fragments affect the interaction between actin and myosin S1 are studied by fluorescence quenching, polarization, and resonance energy transfer. We show that, under strong binding conditions, premixing actin with the NA3 prior to adding myosin subfragment 1 (S1) inhibits the rate of actoS1 association. The nebulin fragments, NA3 and NA4, caused little effect on the extent of actoS1 binding at equilibrium but did alter the nature of the complex as evidenced by an increase in the resonance energy transfer efficiencies between S1 and actin in the absence of ATP. The addition of low concentrations of ATP rapidly dissociates the strong-binding actoS1 irrespective of the presence or absence of nebulin fragment. Interestingly, the strongly bound state reforms rapidly after S1 hydrolyzes all available ATP. These observations are consistent with the notion that nebulin might contribute to optimizing the alignment of actomyosin interactions and inhibit suboptimal actomyosin contacts.
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