Send to

Choose Destination
Physiol Rev. 1996 Oct;76(4):967-1003.

Mechanisms of smooth muscle contraction.

Author information

Boston Biomedical Research Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Work performed with differentiated contractile smooth muscle tissue over the last two decades has made clear that covalent modification of myosin by phosphorylation of the 20-kDa myosin light chains is a significant mode of regulation of contractile activity in smooth muscle, particularly in regard to the generation of phasic contractions and the initial development of tonic contractions. This regulatory mechanism appears to be of unique importance in smooth muscle compared with striated muscle. It is equally clear, however, that there is an important role for protein kinase C in the regulation of smooth muscle tone maintenance, particularly in vascular smooth muscle. Several possible signal transduction cascades involving protein kinase C are outlined. Increasing evidence suggests a link between protein kinase C and actin-based regulatory mechanisms. This review places emphasis on relating up-to-date biochemical facts to the physiological realities of the smooth muscle cell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center