Considerations on muscle contraction

W. Herzog*, R. Ait-Haddou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The independent force generator and the power-stroke cross-bridge model have dominated the thinking on mechanisms of muscular contraction for nearly the past five decades. Here, we review the evolution of the cross-bridge theory from its origins as a two-state model to the current thinking of a multi-state mechanical model that is tightly coupled with the hydrolysis of ATP. Finally, we emphasize the role of skeletal muscle myosin II as a molecular motor whose actions are greatly influenced by Brownian motion. We briefly consider the conceptual idea of myosin II working as a ratchet rather than a power stroke model, an idea that is explored in detail in the companion paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-433
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • ATP hydrolysis
  • Brownian motion
  • Cross-bridge theory
  • Mechanisms of contraction
  • Molecular motors
  • Molecular ratchet
  • Muscle energetics
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Sliding filament theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Biophysics
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)


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