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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hg2+-induced contracture in mechanically skinned fibers of frog skeletal muscle.

In mechanically skinned fibers of the semitendinosus muscle of bullfrogs, we examined the role of membrane sulfhydryl groups on Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). Hg2+, a sulfhydryl reagent (20-100 microM), induced a repetitive contracture of skinned fibers, and this contracture did not occur in skinned fibers in which the SR had been disrupted by treatment with a detergent (Brij 58). Procaine (10 mM), Mg2+ (5 mM), or dithiothreitol (1 mM) blocked the Hg2+-induced contracture. Ag+ or p-chloromercuribenzenesulfonic acid produced similar contractures to that induced by Hg2+. We conclude that Hg2+ releases Ca2+ from SR of a skinned fiber by modifying sulfhydryl groups on the SR membrane, and suggest that the Ca2+ released by Hg2+ may trigger a greater release of Ca2+ from SR to develop tension.[1]


  1. Hg2+-induced contracture in mechanically skinned fibers of frog skeletal muscle. Aoki, T., Oba, T., Hotta, K. Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. (1985) [Pubmed]
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