Catch is a mechanical state occurring in some invertebrate smooth muscles characterized by high force maintenance and resistance to stretch during extremely slow relaxation. During catch, intracellular calcium is near basal concentration and myosin crossbridge cyctng rate is extremely slow. Catch force is relaxed by a protein kinase A-mediated phosphorylation of sites near the N- and C- temini of the minititin twitchin (approximately 526 kDa). Some catch force maintenance car also occur together with cycling myosin crossbridges at submaximal calcium concentrations, but not when the muscle is maximally activated. Additionally, the link responsible for catch can adjust during shortening of submaximally activated muscles and maintain catch force at the new shorter length. Twitchin binds to both thick and thin filaments, and the thin filament binding shown by both the N- and Cterminal portions of twitchin is decreased by phosphorylation of the sites that regulate catch. The data suggest that the twitchin molecule itself is the catch force beanng tether between thick and thin filaments. We present a model for the regulation of catch in which the twitchin tether can be displaced from thin filaments by both (a) the phosphorylation of twitchin and (b) the attachment of high force myosin crossbridges
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