Journal article
Excitation-Contracting Coupling in a Pre-Vertebrate Twitch Muscle: The Myotomes of Branchiostoma lanceolatum

Publication Details
Benterbusch, R.; Herberg, F.; Melzer, W.; Thieleczeck, R.
Publication year:
J. Membrane Biol
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The segmented trunk muscle (myotome muscle) of the lancelet (Branchiostoma lanceolatum), a pre-vertebrate chordate, was studied in order to gain information regarding the evolution of excitation-contraction (EC) coupling. Myotome membrane vesicles could be separated on isopycnic sucrose gradients into two main fractions, probably comprising solitary microsomes and diads of plasma membrane and sarcoplasmic reticulum, respectively. Both fractions bound the dihydropyridine PN 200/110 and the phenylalkylamine (-)D888 (devapamil) while specific ryanodine binding was observed in the diad preparation only. Pharmacological effects on Ca2+ currents measured under voltage-clamp conditions in single myotome fibers included a weak block by the dihydropyridine nifedipine and a shift of the voltage dependences of inactivation and restoration to more negative potentials by (-)D888. After blocking the Ca2+ current by cadmium in voltage-clamped single fibers, the contractile response persisted and a rapid intramembrane charge movement could be demonstrated. Both responses exhibited a voltage sensitivity very similar to the one of the voltage-activated Ca2+ channels. Our biochemical and electrophysiological results indicate that the EC coupling mechanism of the protochordate myotome cell is similar to that of the vertebrate skeletal muscle fiber: Intracellular Ca2+ release, presumably taking place via the ryanodine receptor complex, is under control of the cell membrane potential. The sarcolemmal Ca2+ channels might serve as voltage sensors for this process.

Last updated on 2019-25-07 at 17:21