Introduction and Historical Perspective
Tropomyosin is a coiled coil dimer which forms a polymer along the major groove of the majority of actin filaments. It is therefore one of the two primary components of the actin filament. Our understanding of the biological function of tropomyosin has been driven almost entirely by its role in striated muscle. This reflects both its original discovery as part of the thin filament in skeletal muscle and its pivotal role in regulating muscle contraction. In contrast, its role in the function of the cytoskeleton of all cells has been poorly understood due, at least in part, to the technical challenge of deciphering the function of a large number of isoforms. This book has brought together many of the leading researchers who have defined the function of tropomyosin in both normal and pathological conditions. Each author brings their own perspective in a series of stand alone reviews of the areas of tropomyosin research they have played a major role in defining.
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