The effects of ADP and phosphate on the contraction of muscle fibers

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The products of MgATP hydrolysis bind to the nucleotide site of myosin and thus may be expected to inhibit the contraction of muscle fibers. We measured the effects of phosphate and MgADP on the isometric tensions and isotonic contraction velocities of glycerinated rabbit psoas muscle at 10 degrees C. Addition of phosphate decreased isometric force but did not affect the maximum velocity of shortening. To characterize the effects of ADP on fiber contractions, force-velocity curves were measured for fibers bathed in media containing various concentrations of MgATP (1.5–4 mM) and various concentrations of MgADP (1–4 mM). As the [MgADP]/[MgATP] ratio in the fiber increases, the maximum velocity achieved by the fiber decreases while the isometric tension increases. The inhibition of fiber velocities and the potentiation of fiber tension by MgADP is not altered by the presence of 12 mM phosphate. The concentration of both MgADP and MgATP within the fiber was calculated from the diffusion coefficient for nucleotides within the fiber, and the rate of MgADP production within the fiber. Using the calculated values for the nucleotide concentration inside the fiber, observed values of the maximum contraction velocity could be described, within experimental accuracy, by a model in which MgADP competed with MgATP and inhibited fiber velocity with an effective Ki of 0.2–0.3 mM. The average MgADP level generated by the fiber ATPase activity within the fiber was approximately 0.9 mM. In fatigued fibers MgADP and phosphate levels are known to be elevated, and tension and the maximum velocity of contraction are depressed. The results obtained here suggest that levels of MgADP in fatigued fibers play no role in these decreases in function, but the elevation of both phosphate and H+ is sufficient to account for much of the decrease in tension. © 1985, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.




Cooke, R., & Pate, E. (1985). The effects of ADP and phosphate on the contraction of muscle fibers. Biophysical Journal, 48(5), 789–798.

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