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Biophys J. Aug 2001; 81(2): 1083–1092.
PMCID: PMC1301577

Changes in cardiac contractility related to calcium-mediated changes in phosphorylation of myosin-binding protein C.


Ca ions can influence the contraction of cardiac muscle by activating kinases that specifically phosphorylate the myofibrillar proteins myosin-binding protein C (MyBP-C) and the regulatory light chain of myosin (RLC). To investigate the possible role of Ca-regulated phosphorylation of MyBP-C on contraction, isolated quiescent and rhythmically contracting cardiac trabeculae were exposed to different concentrations of extracellular Ca and then chemically skinned to clamp the contractile system. Maximum Ca-activated force (F(max)) was measured in quiescent cells soaking in 1) 2.5 mM Ca for 120 min, 2) 1.25 mM for 120 min, or 3) 1.25 mM for 120 min followed by 10 min in 7.5 mM, and 4) cells rhythmically contracting in 2.5 mM for 20 min. F(max) was, respectively, 21.5, 10.5, 24.7, and 32.6 mN/mm(2). Changes in F(max) were closely associated with changes in the degree of phosphorylation of MyBP-C and occurred at intracellular concentrations of Ca below levels associated with phosphorylation of RLC. Monophosphorylation of MyBP-C by a Ca-regulated kinase is necessary before beta-adrenergic stimulation can produce additional phosphorylation. These results suggest that Ca-dependent phosphorylation of MyBP-C modulates contractility by changing thick filament structure.

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Selected References

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