Letter | Published:

Liquid-crystalline characteristics of the thick filament lattice of striated muscle

Naturevolume 257pages139141 (1975) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

THE lattice of thick filaments (A-band lattice) in striated muscle is similar in many respects to smectic liquid-crystalline structures in which macromolecules are arranged parallel to and equidistant from each other forming lattice planes1,2. Like other liquid-crystalline systems, this lattice may exist in two characteristic conditions which are determined either by a simple balance between electrical forces3–5,7 or subject to an additional volume-limiting force6–8. Some mathematical analyses2,4–6,9–12 agree with the experimental results obtained from glycerinated muscle3 and skinned fibres13–15, but are only applicable to the electrically balanced liquid-crystalline condition. The behaviour of the thick filament lattice in intact living muscle cannot be explained exclusively in terms of a balance between Van der Waals' and electrostatic force5 because the Donnan-osmotic steady state across the sarcolemma determines the net water flux and thereby controls the fibre and lattice volumes. Cross bridges or M-line bridges cannot be evoked as a mechanism for maintaining the lattice regularity because the array persists in EGTA-relaxed skinned fibres in muscles having no M-line structure14.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Needham, J., Biochemistry and Morphogenesis, 661–667 (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1950).

  2. 2

    Elliott, G. F., and Rome, E. M., Molec. Crystals liquid Crystals, 8, 215–219 (1969).

  3. 3

    Rome, E., J. molec. Biol, 37, 331–344 (1967).

  4. 4

    Elliott, G. F., J. theor. Biol., 21, 71–87 (1968).

  5. 5

    Elliott, G. F., Rome, E., and Spencer, M., Nature, 226, 417–420 (1970).

  6. 6

    Miller, A., and Woodhead-Galloway, J., Nature, 229, 470–473 (1971).

  7. 7

    April, E. W., J. Mechanochem. Cell Motility, 3, 000–000 (1975).

  8. 8

    Moisescu, D. G., Bull. Mathematical Biol, 35, 565–575 (1973).

  9. 9

    Brenner, S. L., and McQuarrie, D. A., Biophys. J., 13, 301–331 (1973).

  10. 10

    Brenner, S. L., and McQuarrie, D. A., J. theor. Biol., 39, 343–361 (1973).

  11. 11

    Mitchell, D. J., Ninham, B. W., and Richmond, P., Biophys. J., 13, 359–384 (1973).

  12. 12

    Parsegian, V. A. P., A. Rev. Biophys. Bioengng, 2, 221–256 (1973).

  13. 13

    Matsubara, I., and Elliott, G. F., J. molec. Biol., 72, 657–669 (1972).

  14. 14

    April, E. W., Brandt, P. W., and Elliott, G. F., J. Cell. Biol., 51, 72–82 (1971).

  15. 15

    April, E. W., Brandt, P. W., and Elliott, G. F., J. Cell. Biol., 53, 53–65 (1972).

  16. 16

    Bernal, J. D., and Fankuchen, I., J. gen. Physiol., 25, 111–165 (1941).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Anatomy, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York City, New York, 10032

    • ERNEST W. APRIL

Authors

  1. Search for ERNEST W. APRIL in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Issue Date

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/257139a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.