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Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), a characteristic of asthma that involves an excessive reduction in airway caliber, is a complex mechanism reflecting multiple processes that manifest over a large range of length and time scales. At one extreme, molecular interactions determine the force generated by airway smooth muscle (ASM). At the other, the spatially(More)
Airway hyperresponsiveness (AH) is a hallmark of asthma. The dynamics of the airway smooth muscle (SM) contraction, rather than its force-generating capacity, have been postulated to be key features of AH. Two mechanisms were proposed whereby an increased velocity of shortening (Vmax) of the airway SM leads to excessive bronchoconstriction. The first(More)
Two smooth muscle myosin heavy chain isoforms that differ by the presence ([+]insert) or the absence ([-]insert) of a 7-amino acid insert in the motor domain have a 2-fold difference in their in vitro actin filament velocity. We hypothesized that a preferential expression of the fast (+)insert isoform in airway smooth muscle would increase the rate of(More)
Smooth muscle is unique in its ability to maintain force at low MgATP consumption. This property, called the latch state, is more prominent in tonic than phasic smooth muscle. Studies performed at the muscle strip level have suggested that myosin from tonic muscle has a greater affinity for MgADP and therefore remains attached to actin longer than myosin(More)
It remains unclear whether airway smooth muscle (ASM) mechanics is altered in asthma. While efforts have originally focussed on contractile force, some evidence points to an increased velocity of shortening. A greater rate of airway renarrowing after a deep inspiration has been reported in asthmatics compared to controls, which could result from a(More)
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver Background: Asthma is the most prevalent chronic disease among children(More)
Airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is a defining characteristic of asthma that refers to the capacity of the airways to undergo exaggerated narrowing in response to stimuli that do not result in comparable degrees of airway narrowing in healthy subjects. Airway smooth muscle (ASM) contraction mediates airway narrowing, but it remains uncertain as to whether(More)
The proteins involved in smooth muscle's molecular contractile mechanism - the anti-parallel motion of actin and myosin filaments driven by myosin heads interacting with actin - are found as different isoforms. While their expression levels are altered in disease states, their relevance to the mechanical interaction of myosin with actin is not sufficiently(More)
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