Right-handed rotation of an actin filament in an in vitro motile system

Takayuki Nishizaka, Toshiki Yagi, Yuichiro Tanaka, Shin'ichi Ishiwata*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    107 Citations (Scopus)


    MUSCLE contraction occurs by mutual sliding between thick (myosin) and thin (actin) filaments1,2. But the physical and chemical properties of the sliding force are not clear; even the precise direction of sliding force generated at each cross-bridge is not known. We report here the use of a recently developed in vitro motile assay system3-5 to show supercoiling of an actin filament in which the front part of the filament was fixed to a glass surface through cross-linked heavy-meromyosin and the rear part was able to slide on a track of heavy-meromyosin. A left-handed single turn of superhelix formed just before supercoiling, suggesting that the sliding force has a right-handed torque component that induces the right-handed rotation of an actin filament around its long axis. The presence of the torque component in the sliding force will explain several properties of the contractile system of muscle.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)269-271
    Number of pages3
    Issue number6409
    Publication statusPublished - 1993 Jan 21

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


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