Caption: The chemistry of smooth muscle cross bridge cycling is demonstrated. As cytosolic calcium levels rise, calcium binds to calmodulin, a calcium-dependent regulatory protein. The calcium calmodulin complex binds to and activates myosin light-chain kinase, also known as MLCK. Once active, MLCK transfers a phosphate from ATP to the light-chain of myosin, thus activating the myosin. With myosin active, crossbridges form, as myosin binds tightly to actin, initiating the power stroke cycle. Once activated, power stroke cycling will proceed in a manner similar to skeletal muscle.

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Keywords: actin, adenosine triphosphate, atp, calcium, calmodulin, crossbridge cycling, mlck, myosin, myosin head, myosin light-chain kinase, phosphate, power stroke cycling

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Smooth muscle cross bridge cycling

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