Basic Contractile Unit Of Muscle

In perhaps no other cell type is function explained so well by structure and biochemical interactions as it is in muscle cells. Contraction of muscle cells is associated both qualitatively and quantitatively with specific structural arrangements of specific proteins. Actin and myosin are proteins that form the basic structural characteristic of muscle and are arranged in filaments— actin in thin filaments and myosin in thick filaments (Fig. 2). Each actin molecule (G-actin or globular actin) is a globular protein with a molecular weight of approximately 45,000 Da. In the thin filaments, the monomers are polymerized together like two strands of

Myosin

Light chains

Myosin

F-Actin

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