Myosin light-chain kinase
myosin, light polypeptide kinase
|Locus||Chr. 3 qcen-q21|
myosin light chain kinase 2, skeletal muscle
|Locus||Chr. 20 q13.31|
This protein is important in the mechanism of contraction in smooth muscle. Once there is an influx of calcium into the smooth muscle, either from the sarcoplasmic reticulum or more importantly from the extracellular space, contraction of smooth muscle fibres may begin. First the calcium will bind to Calmodulin. This binding will activate MLCK which will go on to phosphorylate the myosin light chain at serine residue 19. This will enable the myosin crossbridge to bind to the actin filament and allow contraction to begin (through the crossbridge cycle). Since smooth muscle does not contain a troponin complex like striated muscle, this mechanism is considered the main pathway by which smooth muscle regulates contraction.