Hysteresis in the force-calcium relation in muscle

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Science  04 Mar 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4588, pp. 1075-1077
DOI: 10.1126/science.6823567


Calcium ions activate muscle contraction. The mechanism depends on the calcium sensitivity of the proteins that regulate contraction. Evidence is presented for the reverse phenomenon, where contraction modulates calcium sensitivity. Increasing the force level increased calcium sensitivity in intact fibers showing that the relation between force and calcium is not unique. A particular calcium concentration can maintain a higher force level than it can create. The results were confirmed in skinned fiber experiments. Transient reduction of the force led to a transient reduction in calcium binding, suggesting a simple mechanism for the hysteresis.

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