Blebbistatin, a myosin II inhibitor, suppresses contraction and disrupts contractile filaments organization of skinned taenia cecum from guinea pig

M Watanabe, M Yumoto, H Tanaka, H. H Wang, T Katayama, S Yoshiyama, J Black, S. E Thatcher and K. Kohama

The American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology, 2010, 298(5), 1118-1126. DOI: 10.1152/ajpcell.00269.2009


To explore the precise mechanisms of the inhibitory effects of blebbistatin, a potent inhibitor of myosin II, on smooth muscle contraction, we studied the blebbistatin effects on the mechanical properties and the structure of contractile filaments of skinned (cell membrane permeabilized) preparations from guinea pig taenia cecum. Blebbistatin at 10 µM or higher suppressed Ca2+-induced tension development at any given Ca2+ concentration but had little effects on the Ca2+-induced myosin light chain phosphorylation. Blebbistatin also suppressed the 10 and 2.75 mM Mg2+-induced, "myosin light chain phosphorylation-independent" tension development at more than 10 µM. Furthermore, blebbistatin induced conformational change of smooth muscle myosin (SMM) and disrupted arrangement of SMM and thin filaments, resulting in inhibition of actin-SMM interaction irrespective of activation with Ca2+. In addition, blebbistatin partially inhibited Mg2+-ATPase activity of native actomyosin from guinea pig taenia cecum at around 10 µM. These results suggested that blebbistatin suppressed skinned smooth muscle contraction through disruption of structure of SMM by the agent.

ASCI-ID: 1285-435