Lysine acetylation of F-actin decreases tropomyosin-based inhibition of actomyosin activity

William Schmidt, Aditi Madan, D. Brian Foster, Anthony Cammarato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Recent proteomics studies of vertebrate striated muscle have identified lysine acetylation at several sites on actin. Acetylation is a reversible post-translational modification that neutralizes lysine’s positive charge. Positively charged residues on actin, particularly Lys326 and Lys328, are predicted to form critical electrostatic interactions with tropomyosin (Tpm) that promote its binding to filamentous (F)-actin and bias Tpm to an azimuthal location where it impedes myosin attachment. The troponin (Tn) complex also influences Tpm’s position along F-actin as a function of Ca21 to regulate exposure of myosin-binding sites and, thus, myosin cross-bridge recruitment and force production. Interestingly, Lys326 and Lys328 are among the documented acetylated residues. Using an acetic anhydride-based labeling approach, we showed that excessive, nonspecific actin acetylation did not disrupt characteristic F-actin–Tpm binding. However, it significantly reduced Tpm-mediated inhibition of myosin attachment, as reflected by increased F-actin–Tpm motility that persisted in the presence of Tn and submaximal Ca21. Furthermore, decreasing the extent of chemical acetylation, to presumptively target highly reactive Lys326 and Lys328, also resulted in less inhibited F-actin–Tpm, implying that modifying only these residues influences Tpm’s location and, potentially, thin filament regulation. To unequivocally determine the residue-specific consequences of acetylation on Tn–Tpm–based regulation of actomyosin activity, we assessed the effects of K326Q and K328Q acetyl (Ac)-mimetic actin on Ca21-dependent, in vitro motility parameters of reconstituted thin filaments (RTFs). Incorporation of K328Q actin significantly enhanced Ca21 sensitivity of RTF activation relative to control. Together, our findings suggest that actin acetylation, especially Lys328, modulates muscle contraction via disrupting inhibitory Tpm positioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15527-15539
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number46
StatePublished - Nov 13 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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