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Is the chemomechanical energy transformation reversible?

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In glycerol-extracted insect fibrillar muscle suspended in ATP salt solution the incorporation of32Pi into ATP was studied during the performance of positive or negative oscillatory work and under a variety of mechanical and ionic conditions. An increase in calcium ion concentration from 10−8–10−5 M increased the incorporation rate in proportion to the increase in ATPase activity, mean tension and immediate stiffness, which is a measure of the extent of actin-myosin interaction. Sinusoidal stretches (at 1% Lo) performed at 5 Hz induced the fibres to perform optimal positive oscillatory work and it caused a doubling of the incorporation rate (and ATPase activity). A decrease or increase of the frequency below or above the optimum of 5 Hz always decreased the power output as well as the incorporation rate which, however, was still noticeable even under conditions where work was doneon the fibres. A similar frequency dependence was found when square-wave rather than sinusoidal stretches were applied and this effect could be related to the finding that the rate of stretch-induced incorporation was highest shortly after stretching and then declined to low values (after about 100 ms). These results suggest the formation of an energy-rich intermediate (actomyosin-ADP?) during the contraction process induced by stretching and this intermediate must be assumed to accumulate transiently after stretching.

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Supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Ru 154, 8–10).

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Ulbrich, M., Rüegg, J.C. Is the chemomechanical energy transformation reversible?. Pflugers Arch. 363, 219–222 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00594604

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Key words

  • Insect flight muscle
  • ATP-Phosphate exchange
  • Contractile mechanism
  • Calcium, activition of
  • Chemo-mechanical energy transformation, reversibility of