Troponin C isoform composition determines differences in Sr2+-activation characteristics between rat diaphragm fibers Academic Article uri icon


  • Single fibers of rat diaphragm containing different naturally occurring combinations of myofibrillar protein isoforms were used to evaluate the contribution of troponin C (TnC) isoforms to fiber type-related differences with respect to sensitivity to Sr2+of the contractile system. Mechanically skinned fibers were studied for their isometric force vs. Sr2+concentration ([Sr2+]) relationships and then analyzed electrophoretically for myofibrillar protein isoform composition. Our data demonstrate that fiber-type differences in Sr2+dependence of contractile activation processes are primarily determined by the TnC isoform composition, with the slow isoform conferring on average a sevenfold greater sensitivity to Sr2+than the fast isoform. Moreover, the ratio of TnC isoforms determined functionally from the force-pSr (−log10[Sr2+]) curves is tightly ( r2= 0.97) positively correlated with that estimated electrophoretically. Together, these results validate the use of Sr2+activation characteristics to distinguish fibers containing different proportions of fast and slow TnC isoforms and to study the mechanisms by which divalent cations activate the contractile apparatus. We also found that the functionally and electrophoretically determined ratios of TnC isoforms present in a fiber display similar sigmoidal relationships with the ratio of myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform types expressed. These relationships 1) offer further insight in the functional and molecular expression of TnC in relation to the molecular expression of MHC isoform types and 2) may provide the basis for predicting sensitivity to Sr2+, TnC, and MHC isoforms in pure and hybrid skeletal muscle fibers.

publication date

  • July 2004