Online ISSN : 1349-2942
Review Article
Theory of muscle contraction mechanism with ­cooperative interaction among crossbridges
Toshio MitsuiHiroyuki Ohshima
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2012 Volume 8 Pages 27-39


The power stroke model was criticized and a model was proposed for muscle contraction mechanism (Mitsui, 1999). The proposed model was further developed and calculations based on the model well reproduced major experimental data on the steady filament sliding (Mitsui and Ohshima, 2008) and on the transient phenomena (Mitsui, Takai and Ohshima, 2011). In this review more weight is put on explanation of the basic ideas of the model, especially logical necessity of the model, leaving mathematical details to the above-mentioned papers. A thermodynamic relationship that any models based upon the sliding filament theory should fulfill is derived. The model which fulfills the thermodynamic relationship is constructed on the assumption that a myosin head bound to an actin filament forms a complex with three actin molecules. In shortening muscles, the complex moves along the actin filament changing the partner actin molecules with steps of about 5.5 nm. This process is made possible through cooperative interaction among crossbridges. The ATP hydrolysis energy is liberated by fraction at each step through chemical reactions between myosin and actin molecules. The cooperativity among crossbridges disappears in length-clamped muscles, in agreement with experimental observations that the crossbridge produces force independently in the isometric ­tetanus state. The distance of the head movement per ATP hydrolysis cycle is expected to be about 5.5 nm or a few times of it under the condition of the in vitro single head experiments. Calculation results are surveyed illustrating that they are in good agreement with major experimental observations.

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