W. Jonathan Lederer, MD, PhD, professor of physiology at the UM SOM, as well as director of the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Technology, and David Warshaw, PhD, professor of molecular physiology and biophysics at University of Vermont (UVM) and the Cardiovascular Research Institute of Vermont, describe how myosin-binding protein C ("C protein") allows the muscle fibers in the heart to work in perfect synchrony.
C protein sensitizes certain parts of the sarcomere to calcium. As a result, the middle of the sarcomere contracts just as much as the ends, despite having much less calcium. In other words, C protein enables the sarcomeres to contract synchronously.
The study is published in the journal Science Advances.