Connectin, an elastic protein from myofibrils. (1/4621)

The elastic protein isolated from myofibrils of chicken skeletal muscle was compared with extracellular non-collagenous reticulin prepared from chicken liver and skeletal muscle. The amino acid compositions of these proteins were similar except that their contents of Phe, Leu, Cys/2, and Hyp were different. The impregnations of the elastic protein and reticulin with silver were also different. The reticulin was not at all elastic. It also differed from reticulin in solubility and antigenicity. It is proposed to call the intracellular elastic protein connectin.  (+info)

Surface-induced polymerization of actin. (2/4621)

Living cells contain a very large amount of membrane surface area, which potentially influences the direction, the kinetics, and the localization of biochemical reactions. This paper quantitatively evaluates the possibility that a lipid monolayer can adsorb actin from a nonpolymerizing solution, induce its polymerization, and form a 2D network of individual actin filaments, in conditions that forbid bulk polymerization. G- and F-actin solutions were studied beneath saturated Langmuir monolayers containing phosphatidylcholine (PC, neutral) and stearylamine (SA, a positively charged surfactant) at PC:SA = 3:1 molar ratio. Ellipsometry, tensiometry, shear elastic measurements, electron microscopy, and dark-field light microscopy were used to characterize the adsorption kinetics and the interfacial polymerization of actin. In all cases studied, actin follows a monoexponential reaction-limited adsorption with similar time constants (approximately 10(3) s). At a longer time scale the shear elasticity of the monomeric actin adsorbate increases only in the presence of lipids, to a 2D shear elastic modulus of mu approximately 30 mN/m, indicating the formation of a structure coupled to the monolayer. Electron microscopy shows the formation of a 2D network of actin filaments at the PC:SA surface, and several arguments strongly suggest that this network is indeed causing the observed elasticity. Adsorption of F-actin to PC:SA leads more quickly to a slightly more rigid interface with a modulus of mu approximately 50 mN/m.  (+info)

Adhesion energy of receptor-mediated interaction measured by elastic deformation. (3/4621)

We investigated the role of receptor binding affinity in surface adhesion. A sensitive technique was developed to measure the surface energy of receptor-mediated adhesion. The experimental system involved a functionalized elastic agarose bead resting on a functionalized glass coverslip. Attractive intersurface forces pulled the two surfaces together, deforming the bead to produce an enlarged contact area. The Johnson-Kendall-Roberts (JKR) model was used to relate the surface energy of the interaction to the elasticity of the bead and the area of contact. The surface energies for different combinations of modified surfaces in solution were obtained from reflection interference contrast microscopy (RICM) measurements of the contact area formed by the bead and the coverslip. Studies with surfaces functionalized with ligand-receptor pairs showed that the relationship between surface energy and the association constant of the ligand binding has two regimes. At low binding affinity, surface energy increased linearly with the association constant, while surface energy increased logarithmically with the association constant in the high affinity regime.  (+info)

Impact of vascular adaptation to chronic aortic regurgitation on left ventricular performance. (4/4621)

BACKGROUND: This investigation was designed to test the hypothesis that vascular adaptation occurs in patients with chronic aortic regurgitation to maintain left ventricular (LV) performance. METHODS AND RESULTS: Forty-five patients with chronic aortic regurgitation (mean age 50+/-14 years) were studied using a micromanometer LV catheter to obtain LV pressures and radionuclide ventriculography to obtain LV volumes during multiple loading conditions and right atrial pacing. These 45 patients were subgrouped according to their LV contractility (Ees) and ejection fraction values. Group I consisted of 24 patients with a normal Ees. Group IIa consisted of 10 patients with impaired Ees values (Ees <1.00 mm Hg/mL) but normal LV ejection fractions; Group IIb consisted of 11 patients with impaired contractility and reduced LV ejection fractions. The left ventricular-arterial coupling ratio, Ees/Ea, where Ea was calculated by dividing the LV end-systolic pressure by LV stroke volume, averaged 1.60+/-0.91 in Group I. It decreased to 0.91+/-0.27 in Group IIa (P<0.05 versus Group I), and it decreased further in Group IIb to 0.43+/-0.24 (P<0.001 versus Groups I and IIa). The LV ejection fractions were inversely related to the Ea values in both the normal and impaired contractility groups (r=-0.48, P<0.05 and r=-0.56, P<0.01, respectively), although the slopes of these relationships differed (P<0.05). The average LV work was maximal in Group IIa when the left ventricular-arterial coupling ratio was near 1.0 because of a significant decrease in total arterial elastance (P<0.01 versus Group I). In contrast, the decrease in the left ventricular-arterial coupling ratio in Group IIb was caused by an increase in total arterial elastance, effectively double loading the LV, contributing to a decrease in LV pump efficiency (P<0.01 versus Group IIa and P<0.001 versus Group I). CONCLUSIONS: Vascular adaptation may be heterogeneous in patients with chronic aortic regurgitation. In some, total arterial elastance decreases to maximize LV work and maintain LV performance, whereas in others, it increases, thereby double loading the LV, contributing to afterload excess and a deterioration in LV performance that is most prominent in those with impaired contractility.  (+info)

Dynamics and elasticity of the fibronectin matrix in living cell culture visualized by fibronectin-green fluorescent protein. (5/4621)

Fibronectin (FN) forms the primitive fibrillar matrix in both embryos and healing wounds. To study the matrix in living cell cultures, we have constructed a cell line that secretes FN molecules chimeric with green fluorescent protein. These FN-green fluorescent protein molecules were assembled into a typical matrix that was easily visualized by fluorescence over periods of several hours. FN fibrils remained mostly straight, and they were seen to extend and contract to accommodate movements of the cells, indicating that they are elastic. When fibrils were broken or detached from cells, they contracted to less than one-fourth of their extended length, demonstrating that they are highly stretched in the living culture. Previous work from other laboratories has suggested that cryptic sites for FN assembly may be exposed by tension on FN. Our results show directly that FN matrix fibrils are not only under tension but are also highly stretched. This stretched state of FN is an obvious candidate for exposing the cryptic assembly sites.  (+info)

Altered crossbridge kinetics in the alphaMHC403/+ mouse model of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. (6/4621)

A mutation in the cardiac beta-myosin heavy chain, Arg403Gln (R403Q), causes a severe form of familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (FHC) in humans. We used small-amplitude (0.25%) length-perturbation analysis to examine the mechanical properties of skinned left ventricular papillary muscle strips from mouse hearts bearing the R403Q mutation in the alpha-myosin heavy chain (alphaMHC403/+). Myofibrillar disarray with variable penetrance occurred in the left ventricular free wall of the alphaMHC403/+ hearts. In resting strips (pCa 8), dynamic stiffness was approximately 40% greater than in wild-type strips, consistent with elevated diastolic stiffness reported for murine hearts with FHC. At pCa 6 (submaximal activation), strip isometric tension was approximately 3 times higher than for wild-type strips, whereas at pCa 5 (maximal activation), tension was marginally lower. At submaximal calcium activation the characteristic frequencies of the work-producing (b) and work-absorbing (c) steps of the crossbridge were less in alphaMHC403/+ strips than in wild-type strips (b=11+/-1 versus 15+/-1 Hz; c= 58+/-3 versus 66+/-3 Hz; 27 degrees C). At maximal calcium activation, strip oscillatory power was reduced (0. 53+/-0.25 versus 1.03+/-0.18 mW/mm3; 27 degrees C), which is partly attributable to the reduced frequency b, at which crossbridge work is maximum. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the R403Q mutation reduces the strong binding affinity of myosin for actin. Myosin heads may accumulate in a preforce state that promotes cooperative activation of the thin filament at submaximal calcium but blunts maximal tension and oscillatory power output at maximal calcium. The calcium-dependent effect of the mutation (whether facilitating or debilitating), together with a variable degree of fibrosis and myofibrillar disorder, may contribute to the diversity of clinical symptoms observed in murine FHC.  (+info)

Effects of AT1 receptor blockade after myocardial infarct on myocardial fibrosis, stiffness, and contractility. (7/4621)

Angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor blockade attenuates myocardial fibrosis after myocardial infarction (MI). However, whether inhibition of fibrosis by AT1 receptor blockade influences myocardial stiffness and contractility is unknown. We measured left ventricular (LV) hemodynamics, papillary muscle function, and myocardial stiffness and fibrosis in rats randomized to losartan or placebo 1 day after MI and treated subsequently for 8 wk. Losartan decreased LV and right ventricular weights as well as mean aortic and LV systolic pressures in sham and MI rats. LV end-diastolic pressure increased after MI and was decreased with losartan. Maximal developed tension and peak rate of tension rise and decline were decreased in MI vs. sham rats. Interstitial fibrosis developed after MI and was prevented in losartan-treated MI rats. The development of abnormal myocardial stiffness after MI was prevented by losartan. After MI, AT1 receptor blockade prevents an abnormal increase in myocardial collagen content. This effect was associated with a normalization of passive myocardial stiffness.  (+info)

Aortic pressure-diameter relationship assessed by intravascular ultrasound: experimental validation in dogs. (8/4621)

Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) has emerged as an important diagnostic method for evaluating vessel diameter and vessel wall motion. To evaluate the validity of IVUS in assessing changes in the pressure-diameter relationship we compared measurements of abdominal aortic diameters derived from IVUS with those simultaneously obtained at the same site using implanted sonomicrometers in five chronically instrumented conscious dogs and in seven acutely instrumented anesthetized dogs. Five hundred eighty beats were analyzed to obtain peak systolic and end-diastolic diameters and to calculate aortic compliance at different blood pressure levels induced either by an aortic pneumatic cuff or by intravenous injections of nitroglycerin or norepinephrine. IVUS agreed closely with sonomicrometer measurements at different blood pressure levels. However, IVUS slightly but significantly underestimated aortic diameters by 0.6 +/- 0.7 mm for systolic diameters (P < 0.001) and by 0.7 +/- 0.6 mm for diastolic diameters (P < 0.001) compared with the sonomicrometer measurements. We conclude that IVUS is a feasible and reliable method to measure dynamic changes in aortic dimensions and has the potential to provide ready access to assess aortic compliance in humans.  (+info)