The Journal of biological chemistry

Cooperative interactions between troponin molecules bound to the cardiac thin filament.

PMID 1985974


Striated muscle thin filaments contain many troponin molecules, which contact each other indirectly via tropomyosin and actin. Such allosteric interactions between troponin molecules may be responsible for cooperative Ca2+ binding to the regulatory sites of the cardiac thin filament (Tobacman, L. S., and Sawyer, D. S. (1990) J. Biol. Chem. 265, 931-939). To test whether thin filament-bound troponin molecules interact, we studied the competitive binding of troponin and troponin T-troponin I (an inhibitory complex lacking the Ca2+ binding subunit troponin C) to actin-tropomyosin. The relative affinities of these two forms of troponin for the thin filament depended upon their relative concentrations. Under conditions where total binding was saturated, each form binds with greater apparent affinity to sites that have similar neighbors. A theoretical model for competitive binding of two ligands to interacting sites on a linear lattice was developed and fit to the data. Surprisingly, energetically unfavorable interactions occurred between adjacent troponin and troponin T-troponin I molecules not only in the presence of Ca2+, but also in the presence of [ethylenebis(oxyethylenenitrilo)]tetraacetic acid and/or myosin subfragment 1. Removal of Ca2+ strengthened the affinity of troponin for the thin filament less than 50%. These results suggest that, even in the absence of myosin, long range allosteric interactions occur between troponin molecules. The detailed involvement of tropomyosin and actin in these interactions remains to be established.