INTRODUCTION

Motion is one of the basic phenomenona of life. About 40% of the animal body consist of muscle, producing fast and slow movements, pumping the blood, or delivering the fetus.

The mechanism of muscle contraction has been extensively studied in the 20th century. At the beginning, physiologists looked on muscle as a machine that can generate power, heat, and has electrical properties. Later, the question was raised what is the composition of the machine and what is the energy it utilizes. The central role of proteins in contraction has been recognized when Albert Szent-Györgyi (Fig. Albert) demonstrated that muscle contraction could be reproduced in vitro by adding ATP to actomyosin threads (Fig. AM). This put muscle research into a high gear. The book of Szent-Györgyi (1951) describes the classical experiments carried out in his laboratory, in Hungary, during the Second World War.

Fig. Albert. Professor Albert Szent-Györgyi, 1893 - 1986.

Fig. AM. Contraction of actomyosin thread (From Szent-Györgyi, 1944).

In this home page, we present a few topics from our lectures on the Biochemistry of Muscle Contraction, and Cell Motility. Ample illustrations and references should help the students to educate themselves without attending formal classroom lectures. The ultimate goal of computer teaching is to guide the students for independent studies. On a long run, this will reduce the time for completion of courses and will build professionals with high intellectual ability.

References

Szent-Györgyi, A. (1944) Studies on Muscle. Institute of Medical Chemistry,University of Szeged. Hungary

Szent-Györgyi, A. (1951). Chemistry of muscular contraction. Academic Press.


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