The increase in Ca(2+)-activated force caused by polyamines in beta-escin-permeabilized guinda pig ileum is shown to be associated with increased myosin 20-kDa light chain (LC20) phosphorylation and shortening velocity. Myosin LC20 dephosphorylation with arrested kinase activity was slower in the presence of 1 mM spermine. Smooth muscle phosphatases (SMP-I, -II, -III, and -IV) isolated from turkey gizzard are all active against phosphorylated LC20, but only SMP-III and -IV dephosphorylate heavy meromyosin (HMM). Spermine inhibited SMP-III activity toward LC20 but stimulated HMM dephosphorylation, whereas SMP-IV was inhibited with both substrates. In contrast, SMP-I and -II were stimulated by spermine. The relative effects of different polyamines correlated with an increasing number of positive charges. Spermine did not affect binding of SMP-IV to myosin and did not dissociate any of the subunits of the enzyme. Incubation of permeabilized strips with SMP-IV resulted in attenuated responses to Ca2+, an effect that was opposed by spermine and abolished by microcystin-LR. We conclude that spermine selectively inhibits myosin phosphatase activity and suggest that polyamines function as endogenous myosin phosphatase inhibitors.
- Copyright © 1995 the American Physiological Society