Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Transient Mechanics of Muscle Require Only a Single Force-Producing Crossbridge State and a 100 Å Working Stroke

Version 1 : Received: 6 November 2020 / Approved: 9 November 2020 / Online: 9 November 2020 (08:42:58 CET)

How to cite: Knupp, C.; Squire, J.M. The Transient Mechanics of Muscle Require Only a Single Force-Producing Crossbridge State and a 100 Å Working Stroke. Preprints 2020, 2020110265 Knupp, C.; Squire, J.M. The Transient Mechanics of Muscle Require Only a Single Force-Producing Crossbridge State and a 100 Å Working Stroke. Preprints 2020, 2020110265

Abstract

An informative probe of myosin crossbridge behaviour in active muscle is a mechanical transient experiment where, for example, a fully active muscle initially held at constant length is suddenly shortened to a new fixed length giving a force transient, or has its load suddenly reduced giving a length transient. We describe the simplest crossbridge mechanical cycle we could find to model these transients. We show using the statistical mechanics of 50,000 crossbridges that a simple cycle with two actin-attached cross-bridge states, one producing no force and the other producing force, will explain much of what has been observed experimentally and we discuss the implications of this modelling for our understanding of how muscle works. We show that this same simple model will explain reasonably well the isotonic mechanical and X-ray transients under different loads observed by Reconditi et al (2004, Nature 428, 578) and that there is no need to invoke different crossbridge step sizes under these different conditions; a step size of 100 Å works well for all loads. We do not claim that this model provides a total mechanical explanation of how muscle works. But we do suggest that only if there are other observations that cannot be explained by this simple model should something more complicated be considered.

Subject Areas

muscle transients; myosin cross-bridge cycle; isotonic shortening; length steps

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