Reconstituting a minimal contractile unit

More than 60 years ago Huxley & Niedergerke and Huxley & Hansen independently proposed the sliding filament theory of muscle contraction. Since then a great deal of work has gone into understanding the mechanism of muscle contraction (cross bridge cycle model). Although the in vitro motility assays have illuminated the workings of single myosin motor head, the collective biophysical properties of helical myosin motor array present in myosin thick filaments has not been explored. As a first step towards reconstituting a minimal contractile unit our lab is interested in engineering a myosin assembly that will closely mimic the native myosin filament.