Pharmacomechanical Coupling: The Membranes Talk to the Crossbridges

  • Andrew P. Somlyo
  • Toshio Kitazawa
  • Sei Kobayashi
  • Ming Cui Gong
  • Avril V. Somlyo
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 304)


Excitation-contraction (E-C) coupling in smooth muscle (Table 1) is distinguished by the importance of pharmacomechanical coupling: a complex of signal transduction mechanisms that is not directly dependent on changes in membrane potential (Somlyo and Somlyo, 1968). In contrast, in striated muscle electromechanical coupling is the dominant E-C coupling mechanism. We shall emphasize pharmacomechanical coupling in this overview, not only because of its importance and our interest in it, but also because there has been major progress in our understanding of its molecular mechanisms, particularly the mechanisms of Ca2+ release and modulation of Ca2+-sensitivity.


Smooth Muscle Vascular Smooth Muscle Myosin Light Chain Smooth Muscle Myosin Myosin Light Chain Phosphorylation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew P. Somlyo
    • 1
  • Toshio Kitazawa
    • 1
  • Sei Kobayashi
    • 1
  • Ming Cui Gong
    • 1
  • Avril V. Somlyo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA

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