Detection of radial crossbridge force by lattice spacing changes in intact single muscle fibers

Science  07 Dec 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4986, pp. 1409-1411
DOI: 10.1126/science.2255911


Time-resolved lattice spacing changes were measured (10-millisecond time resolution) by x-ray diffraction of synchrotron radiation in single intact muscle fibers of the frog Rana temporaria undergoing electrically stimulated tension development during application of stretches and releases. Ramp releases, which decreased fiber length at constant speed, caused a lattice expansion. After the ramp, increasing tension during recovery was accompanied by lattice compression. Ramp stretches caused a compression of the lattice. While the fiber was held at a constant length after the stretch, tension decreased and lattice spacing increased. These observations demonstrate the existence of a previously undetected radial component of the force generated by a cycling crossbridge. At sarcomere lengths of 2.05 to 2.2 micrometers, the radial force compresses the myofilament lattice. Hence, the myofilament lattice does not maintain a constant volume during changes in force.

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