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Calcium Movement in the Sarcomere and its Connection to Muscle Contraction: A Pilot Study

by Goldsmith, Neil

Abstract (Summary)
The human body uses calcium as an activator for muscle contraction. A muscle contraction begins with the release of calcium from the terminal cisternae into the sarcomere. The interaction of calcium with myoplasmic proteins then causes the muscle to contract. A biophysical model of the sarcomere will be developed in order to use the model to connect chemical concentrations with force production by the muscle. Since the sarcomere is the base contractile unit of muscle, it should therefore be the appropriate starting point for such a model. The model includes calcium release, diffusion, binding, and uptake. Magnesium concentrations are also modeled as they compete for calcium binding sites on parvalbumin, ATP, and troponin. The binding of calcium to troponin is of special importance because it results in unblocking of the actin sites. The actin will then interact with myosin in a multi-step process that is well understood but poorly quantified. This interaction leads to contraction of the sarcomere and thus the production of force.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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