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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 105648, 8 pages
Review Article

Sarcomere Control Mechanisms and the Dynamics of the Cardiac Cycle

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Center for Cardiovascular Research, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, 835 S. Wolcott Ave, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Received 11 December 2009; Accepted 1 March 2010

Academic Editor: Aikaterini Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos

Copyright © 2010 R. John Solaro. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This review focuses on recent developments in the molecular mechanisms by which Ca activates cardiac sarcomeres and how these mechanisms play out in the cardiac cycle. I emphasize the role of mechanisms intrinsic to the sarcomeres as significant determinants of systolic elastance and ventricular stiffening during ejection. Data are presented supporting the idea that processes intrinsic to the thin filaments may promote cooperative activation of the sarcomeres and be an important factor in maintaining and modifying systolic elastance. Application of these ideas to translational medicine and rationale drug design forms an important rationale for detailed understanding of these processes.