Addition of MgADP to skinned skeletal muscle fibers causes a rise in Ca(2+)-activated isometric tension. Mechanisms underlying this tension increase have been investigated by rapid photogeneration of ADP within skinned single fibers of rabbit psoas muscle. Photolysis of caged ADP (P2-1(2-nitrophenyl)ethyladenosine 5'-diphosphate) resulted in an exponential increase in isometric tension with an apparent rate constant, kADP, of 9.6 +/- 0.3 s-1 (mean +/- SE, n = 28) and an amplitude, PADP, of 4.9 +/- 0.3% Po under standard conditions (0.5 mM photoreleased MgADP, 4 mM MgATP, pH 7.0, pCa 4.5, 0.18 M ionic strength, 15 degrees C). PADP depended upon the concentration of photoreleased MgADP as well as the concentration of MgATP. A plot of 1/PADP vs. 1/[MgADP] at three MgATP concentrations was consistent with competition between MgADP and MgATP for the same site on the crossbridge. The rate of the transient, kADP, also depended upon the concentration of MgADP and MgATP. At both 4 and 1 mM MgATP, kADP was not significantly different after photorelease of 0.1-0.5 mM MgADP, but was reduced by 28-40% when 3.5 mM MgADP was added before photorelease of 0.5 mM MgADP. kADP was accelerated by about twofold when MgATP was varied from 0.5 to 8 mM MgATP. These effects of MgATP and MgADP were not readily accounted for by population of high force-producing states resulting from reversal of the ADP dissociation process. Rather, the results suggest that competition between MgADP and MgATP for crossbridges at the end of the cycle slows detachment leading to accumulation of force-generating crossbridges. Elevation of steady-state Pi concentration from 0.5 to 30 mM caused acceleration of kADP from 10.2 +/- 0.5 to 27.8 +/- 1.8 s-1, indicating that the tension rise involved crossbridge flux through the Pi dissociation step of the cycle.

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