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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9(8), 1435-1452;

Water and Muscle Contraction

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Ferrara University, Via Borsari 46, 44100 Ferrara, Italy
Received: 4 June 2008 / Revised: 29 July 2008 / Accepted: 30 July 2008 / Published: 18 August 2008
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The interaction between water and the protein of the contractile machinery as well as the tendency of these proteins to form geometrically ordered structures provide a link between water and muscle contraction. Protein osmotic pressure is strictly related to the chemical potential of the contractile proteins, to the stiffness of muscle structures and to the viscosity of the sliding of the thin over the thick filaments. Muscle power output and the steady rate of contraction are linked by modulating a single parameter, a viscosity coefficient. Muscle operation is characterized by working strokes of much shorter length and much quicker than in the classical model. As a consequence the force delivered and the stiffness attained by attached cross-bridges is much larger than usually believed. View Full-Text
Keywords: Water; muscle contraction; osmotic pressure; chemical potential; stiffness; viscosity; working stroke. Water; muscle contraction; osmotic pressure; chemical potential; stiffness; viscosity; working stroke.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Grazi, E. Water and Muscle Contraction. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2008, 9, 1435-1452.

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