Load-Dependent Mechanical Efficiency of Individual Myosin Heads in Skeletal Muscle Fibers Activated by Laser Flash Photolysis of Caged Calcium in the Presence of a Limited amount of ATP
Although a contracting muscle regulates its energy output depending on the load imposed on it (“Fenn effect”), the mechanism underlying the load-dependent energy output remains obscure. To explore the possibility that the mechanical efficiency, with which chemical energy derived from ATP hydrolysis is converted into mechanical work, of individual myosin heads changes in a load-dependent manner, we examined the auxotonic shortening of glycerinated rabbit psoas muscle fibers, containing ATP molecules almost equal in number to the myosin heads, following laser flash photolysis of caged calcium. Immediately before laser flash activation, almost all of the myosin heads in the fiber are in the state, MADPPi, and can undergo only one ATP hydrolysis cycle after activation. When the fibers were activated to shorten under various auxotonic loads, the length, force and power output changes were found to be scaled according to the auxotonic load. Both the power and energy outputs were maximal under a moderate auxotonic load. The amount of MADPPi utilized at a time after activation was estimated from the amount of isometric force developed after interruption of fiber shortening. This amount was minimal in the isometric condition, and increased nearly in proportion to the distance of fiber shortening. These results are taken as evidence that the efficiency of chemo-mechanical energy conversion in individual myosin heads changes in a load-dependent manner.
KeywordsFiber Length Thin Filament Isometric Force Sarcomere Length Myosin Head
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