PerspectiveMedicine

Chemically Tuned Myosin Motors

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Science  18 Mar 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6023, pp. 1392-1393
DOI: 10.1126/science.1204207

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Summary

Heart failure affects 5 million people a year in the United States, results in 300,000 deaths annually, and constitutes the single largest health care cost in the United States. Although some progress has been made in treating heart failure, currently approved drugs have deleterious consequences in some patients, and are ineffective in others. Therefore, new therapeutic approaches are necessary. On page 1439 of this issue, Malik et al. (1) elucidate the mechanism by which a small molecule enhances the function of cardiac myosin, the major force-generating motor protein of cardiac muscle. The finding has implications for improving cardiac contraction and treating certain heart conditions.