Blebbistatin, a potent inhibitor of myosin II, is known to suppress smooth muscle contraction without affecting myosin light chain phosphorylation level. In order to clarify the regulatory mechanisms of blebbistatin on phasic and tonic smooth muscles in detail, we examined the effects of blebbistatin on relaxation process by Ca2+ removal after Ca2+-induced contraction of β-escin skinned (cell membrane permeabilized) trachea and taenia cecum preparations from guinea pigs. Blebbistatin significantly suppressed the force during relaxation both in skinned trachea and taenia cecum. The data fitting analysis of the relaxation processes indicates that blebbistatin accelerates slow (latch-like) bridge dissociation.
Keywords: blebbistatin; latch; relaxation; skinned preparation.