Action Of Myofibrils In Muscular Contraction And Atp As An Energy Source For Muscular Contraction

1947 words - 8 pages

Action of Myofibrils In Muscular Contraction and ATP as an Energy Source for Muscular Contraction

The objective of this research was to determine how myofibrils and ATP are involved
and/or altered in muscular contraction. I analyzed the structure of myofibrils and their
subunits of myosin and actin. I then determined that myosin shortens actin, carrying out
a muscular contraction, by forming cross-bridges between the myosin heads and the actin
filaments. I also discovered how ATP is used in muscular contraction and then replaced
by undergoing a reaction with PCr. This research is very important to athletes and
doctors in order understand how to increase muscular performance and treat muscular
diseases, respectively.
The human body has an uncountable number of muscle fibers. There are so
many, packed so tightly, that it makes it nearly impossible to isolate any small number of
cells. In one study, it was determined that the tibialis anterior was made up of 160,000
muscle fibers. [1] The size of this muscle is not particularly impressive and the ?biceps
brachii muscle likely contains 3-4 times that number.? [2] Not only that, but human
skeletal muscles are always changing how they interact with themselves, and the rest of
the body. This is especially apparent in muscular contraction. In fact, it has only been in
the last 50 years that we have begun to really understand them, and much of the research
that has been done has been conducted on animals that are not humans; one can see the
problems that may arise from cutting up a human and examining muscles as they
contract. It is important to have at least a rudimentary understanding of these processes
for one?s own health purposes, athletic performance, and the development of
technologies that will allow us to look past the muscle cell, and can also be used for other
research purposes. Luckily, improved microscopes and less invasive techniques have
shown us muscles at their most basic level. This research paper will explain how muscles
contract at the microscopic level, specifically regarding the myofibril, and how ATP
provides the muscles with the energy they need to contract.
If you were to divide muscles into progressively smaller parts you would
eventually arrive at a myofibril (1/100 the diameter of a human hair).[3] A single
myofibril is made up of two primary types of fibers, thick filaments (myosin) and thin
filaments (actin). First it is important to understand how a myofibril is organized and
which filaments reside in which portion of the myofibril.
Myosin and actin are referred to as dark and light fibers respectively, so one can
see that the darker A-Band is
comprised of myosin fibers while the
lighter I-Band is comprised of action
fibers. The Z-Disks act as bonding
sites to which many myofibrils can be
attached to adjacently.
So how are they involved?
Put very simply, a signal comprised
of charged atoms is sent to various

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