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ABSTRACT: In this short review a number of recent X-ray diffraction results on the highly ordered striated muscles in insects and in bony fish have been briefly described. What is clear is that this technique applied to muscles which are amenable to rigorous analysis, taken together with related data from other sources (e.g. protein crystallography, biochemistry, mechanics, computer modelling) can provide not only the best descriptions yet available on the myosin head organisations on different myosin filaments in the relaxed state, but can also show the sequence of molecular events that occurs in the contractile cycle, and may also help to explain such phenomena as stretch-activation. X-ray diffraction is clearly an enormously powerful tool in studies of muscle. It has already provided a wealth of detail on muscle ultrastructure; it is providing ever more fascinating insights into molecular events in the 50-year old sliding filament mechanism, and there remains a great deal more potential that is as yet untapped.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology 02/2005; 565:45-60; discussion 359-69. · 1.83 Impact Factor