Muscle Crossbridge Positions from Equatorial Diffraction Data: An Approach Towards Solving the Phase Problem

  • John Squire
  • Jeffrey Harford
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 37)


Following a discussion of the problems involved in the analysis of X-ray diffraction data from muscle, a description is given of a possible procedure for solving the phase problem in the case of equatorial diffraction data. The approach involves the use of the Patterson Function which can be determined unambiguously from the observed diffracted intensities. The method is tested using five different muscle-like model density distributions for which the correct phases can be calculated directly. It is then applied to the equatorial X-ray diffraction data from relaxed frog sartorius muscle where it selects a phase set which is also the most likely to be correct on the basis of other available data on frog muscle. This phase set gives rise to a Fourier synthesis map in which the crossbridges form a uniform shelf of density around the myosin filament backbones. Possible lateral movements of the crossbridges from this relaxed configuration in active and rigor muscle are discussed. The approach to solving the phase problem is now being applied to data from fish muscle, insect flight muscle and crab muscle. It should also have its application to other fibrous materials apart from muscle.


Fish Muscle Fourier Synthesis Myosin Filament Frog Muscle Filament Axis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Squire
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Harford
    • 1
  1. 1.Biopolymer GroupImperial CollegeLondon SW7England

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