OPEN Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular cell research | 11 Feb 2019
S Lange, N Pinotsis, I Agarkova and E Ehler
The sarcomere is the basic unit of the myofibrils, which mediate skeletal and cardiac Muscle contraction. Two transverse structures, the Z-disc and the M-band, anchor the thin (actin and associated proteins) and thick (myosin and associated proteins) filaments to the elastic filament system composed of titin. A plethora of proteins are known to be integral or associated proteins of the Z-disc and its structural and signalling role in muscle is better understood, while the molecular constituents of the M-band and its function are less well defined. Evidence discussed here suggests that the M-band is important for managing force imbalances during active muscle contraction. Its molecular composition is fine-tuned, especially as far as the structural linkers encoded by members of the myomesin family are concerned and depends on the specific mechanical characteristics of each particular muscle fibre type. Muscle activity signals from the M-band to the nucleus and affects transcription of sarcomeric genes, especially via serum response factor (SRF). Due to its important role as shock absorber in contracting muscle, the M-band is also more and more recognised as a contributor to muscle disease.
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