On mice, rabbits, and human heart failure

Circulation. 2005 May 10;111(18):2276-9. doi: 10.1161/01.CIR.0000167559.13502.9A.


Sarcomeres, bundled into thick and thin filaments, are the units of contraction in the striated muscle. The thick filaments comprise several hundred hexameric myosin molecules, composed of 2 myosin heavy chain (MyHC) proteins, the molecular motor of contraction, and 2 regulatory and 2 essential light chains. The globular head of MyHC contains the binding domains for cardiac α-actin and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and is attached to a hinge region, which when flexed, moves the globular head over the thin filaments. The thin filaments comprise the cardiac troponin C (cTnC), T (cTnT), and I (cTnI) complex, α-tropomyosin dimers, and cardiac α-actin, maintained in a tight 1:1:7 stoichiometry. Several additional sarcomeric proteins, such as myosin-binding protein C, titin, obscurin, and telethonin contribute to the stabilization and function of the sarcomeres.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Editorial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Heart Failure / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Myocardial Contraction / genetics
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / genetics*
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Rabbits
  • Troponin I / genetics*


  • Protein Isoforms
  • Troponin I
  • Myosin Heavy Chains