Time-Resolved X-ray Diffraction Studies of Cross-Bridge Movement and Their Interpretation

  • H. E. Huxley
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 37)


The purpose of these studies has been to obtain information about the structural behaviour of the cross-bridges during contraction. Since there are so few reflections still present in the part of the X-ray diagram produced by cross-bridges in a contracting muscle they cannot on their own give a detailed picture. However, they can give information of a more general nature — much in the same way as measurements of tension may do, for example — and the patterns can also tell us what structural regularities are no longer present during contraction. The experiments which I will describe have been carried out in nearly all cases on frog sartorius muscles using synchrotron radiation as an intense X-ray source. The necessary facilities were provided by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory Outstation on the storage ring DORIS at DESY Hamburg. The results to which I will refer have in many cases already been described in papers published or in press (Huxley, 1979; Huxley, Faruqi, Bordas, Koch and Milch, 1980; Huxley, Simmons, Faruqi, Kress, Bordas and Koch, 1981; Huxley, Faruqi, Kress, Bordas and Koch, 1982), to which reference may also be made for experimental details.


Myosin Head Contracting Muscle Layer Line Thick Filament Myosin Filament 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. E. Huxley
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Laboratory of Molecular BiologyCambridgeUK

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