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J Biol Chem. 2012 Aug 10;287(33):27930-40. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.337295. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

The rates of Ca2+ dissociation and cross-bridge detachment from ventricular myofibrils as reported by a fluorescent cardiac troponin C.

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Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


The rate-limiting step of cardiac muscle relaxation has been proposed to reside in the myofilament. Both the rates of cross-bridge detachment and Ca(2+) dissociation from troponin C (TnC) have been hypothesized to rate-limit myofilament inactivation. In this study we used a fluorescent TnC to measure both the rate of Ca(2+) dissociation from TnC and the rate of cross-bridge detachment from several different species of ventricular myofibrils. The fluorescently labeled TnC was sensitive to both Ca(2+) dissociation and cross-bridge detachment at low Ca(2+) (presence of EGTA), allowing for a direct comparison between the two proposed rates of myofilament inactivation. Unlike Ca(2+) dissociation from TnC, cross-bridge detachment varied in myofibrils from different species and was rate-limited by ADP release. At subphysiological temperatures (<20 °C), the rate of Ca(2+) dissociation from TnC was faster than the rate of cross-bridge detachment in the presence of ADP. These results support the hypothesis that cross-bridge detachment rate-limits relaxation. However, Ca(2+) dissociation from TnC was not as temperature-sensitive as cross-bridge detachment. At a near physiological temperature (35 °C) and ADP, the rate of cross-bridge detachment may actually be faster than the rate of Ca(2+) dissociation. This provides evidence that there may not be a simple, single rate-limiting step of myofilament inactivation.

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