Research Projects

Sarcomere: unit structure of muscle




A molecular approach to diastolic heart failure

Ongoing studies at the Ruhr University, Germany, are seeking new targets in the fight against diastolic heart failure. The researchers are shedding light on the elasticity of heart muscle cells.
Professor Wolfgang A. Linke is conducting groundbreaking research into titin, a large protein prevalent in the human body. Here, he talks about his 20 years’ experience in the field.

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Titin Research Roundup

Titin is a high-molecular weight protein (3.0-3.8 MDa) in the sarcomeres of vertebrate striated muscles. A plethora of titin isoforms is expressed from the copy of a single titin gene (on chromosome 2 in mouse and humans).

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Mechanics of the Single Myofibril

The single myofibril is the minimum preparation that retains the natural architecture of the sarcomere. As such, it has some important advantages over the larger preparations that also retain the lattice.

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Physiology of Cardiac and Skeletal Muscle

Recent investigations using quantitative RT-PCR and high-resolution SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed that the titin isoform expression pattern is modified dramatically during perinatal heart development (Opitz et al., 2004).

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Cell Biology of Vertebrate and Invertebrate Muscle

We are interested in finding out how titin or titin-like proteins act together with actin, myosin, and many other cytoskeletal proteins to perform the important tasks of scaffolding, mechanical sensing and force generation.

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Molecular Biophysics: Titin (AFM mechanics), Actin, Myosin

Single-Molecule Atomic Force Microscopy of Titin
Actin-Myosin in-vitro Motility Assay

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