Myosin heavy chain isoform expression regulates shortening velocity in smooth muscle: Studies using an SMB KO mouse line

Peter Karagiannis, Frank V. Brozovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


The kinetics of smooth muscle are thought to be partially determined by the level of the expression of the 7 amino acid insert, SMB, in the myosin heavy chain, as SMB is generally expressed at higher levels in faster smooth muscle. In this study, we determined the role of this insert on shortening velocity and force regeneration following rapid reduction in muscle length (k step) in bladder tissue from a transgenic mouse line expressing the insert at three different levels: wild type (WT, +/+, SMB/SMB), an SMA homozygous type (SMB KO, -/-), and a heterozygous type (+/-, SMB/SMA). Smooth muscle from +/+ bladder shorten faster than both the +/- and -/- bladder smooth muscle when activated with Ca 2+, consistent with SMB determining the shortening velocity of smooth muscle. The addition of Pi to the fully activated skinned bladder strips did not affect the rate of shortening for either the +/+ or -/- bladder types but did significantly decrease the rate of shortening for the +/- type. In contrast, the addition of ADP to fully Ca 2+ activated bladder strips increased the rate of shortening for all three bladder types. However after thiophosphorylation, ADP slowed the shortening velocity. These data are consistent with shortening velocity being determined by the level of activation (or crossbridge attachment) in smooth muscle. The rates of force regeneration according to the k step protocol showed no differences between bladder types and also proved insensitive to either Pi or ADP. These data suggest that the rates of force regeneration were determined not only by the kinetics of the crossbridge cycle, but also by factors outside the contractile apparatus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-158
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 24 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

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