Muscle fibre excitability and Ca2+ regulation in skeletal muscle of amphibians and mammals. (2011–2013)
The skeletal muscle fibre is a highly evolved cell for the rapid delivery of calcium to elicit contraction, required for posture, movement and thus one's independence. Key is the rapid spread of excitation around this cell and tight control of calcium release. Uniform excitation of muscle relies on a complex tubular network. We will produce the first 3D images of this complex membrane system and define the role of different types of tubules within this network. Rapid termination of calcium release is also necessary. We will detemine how the fibre regulates this by comparing the mechanisms in toad and rat, which house different forms of proteins required for calcium release. Results will be relevant to understanding aging muscle and disease.