After a change in muscle length, there is an immediate intrinsic response in the amount of developed force, followed by a slower response. Although it has been well documented that the slow force response is at least in part generated by modification of calcium handling, it is unclear whether regulation at the myofilament level occurs during the slow force response. We set out to investigate myofilament calcium sensitivity and phosphorylation status of myofilament proteins after a step-wise change in cardiac muscle length. Ultra-thin right ventricular intact trabeculae were isolated from New Zealand White rabbit hearts and iontophoretically loaded with the calcium indicator bis-fura-2. Twitch force-calcium relationships and steady-state force-[Ca2+]i relationships were measured at various muscle lengths at 37°C using potassium induced contractures. The EC50 significantly decreased with increase in muscle length and maximal active force development significantly increased, while no significant change in the myofilament cooperativity coefficient was found. Phosphoprotein analysis Pro-Q diamond staining as well as phosphorylation-specific antibodies revealed increased phosphorylation of tropomyosin, troponin I, and myosin light chain-2 at longer muscle lengths. Specifically, TnI phosphorylation at Ser22/23 was increased. Since the immediate response is seen virtually instantaneously and post-translational modifications are thought not to occur within such a very short timeframe, we hypothesize that these increases in phosphorylation occur during the slow response.
- Myosin light chain-2
- Troponin I
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine