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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2015 Dec 15;309(12):H2087-97. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00555.2015. Epub 2015 Oct 16.

Myosin MgADP release rate decreases at longer sarcomere length to prolong myosin attachment time in skinned rat myocardium.

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Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington.


Cardiac contractility increases as sarcomere length increases, suggesting that intrinsic molecular mechanisms underlie the Frank-Starling relationship to confer increased cardiac output with greater ventricular filling. The capacity of myosin to bind with actin and generate force in a muscle cell is Ca(2+) regulated by thin-filament proteins and spatially regulated by sarcomere length as thick-to-thin filament overlap varies. One mechanism underlying greater cardiac contractility as sarcomere length increases could involve longer myosin attachment time (ton) due to slowed myosin kinetics at longer sarcomere length. To test this idea, we used stochastic length-perturbation analysis in skinned rat papillary muscle strips to measure ton as [MgATP] varied (0.05-5 mM) at 1.9 and 2.2 μm sarcomere lengths. From this ton-MgATP relationship, we calculated cross-bridge MgADP release rate and MgATP binding rates. As MgATP increased, ton decreased for both sarcomere lengths, but ton was roughly 70% longer for 2.2 vs. 1.9 μm sarcomere length at maximally activated conditions. These ton differences were driven by a slower MgADP release rate at 2.2 μm sarcomere length (41 ± 3 vs. 74 ± 7 s(-1)), since MgATP binding rate was not different between the two sarcomere lengths. At submaximal activation levels near the pCa50 value of the tension-pCa relationship for each sarcomere length, length-dependent increases in ton were roughly 15% longer for 2.2 vs. 1.9 μm sarcomere length. These changes in cross-bridge kinetics could amplify cooperative cross-bridge contributions to force production and thin-filament activation at longer sarcomere length and suggest that length-dependent changes in myosin MgADP release rate may contribute to the Frank-Starling relationship in the heart.


cross-bridge kinetics; frank-starling relationship; length-dependent activation; myosin attachment time

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