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MUSCLE (BioC/Phsl/5444)

Spring Semester 2018 | 3 credits | TTh 4:00 - 5:15 | Room: KHKH 3-210

Syllabus and Lecture notes >>
Lectures are copyright protected. Do not use without permission.

Course Director:

David D. Thomas (Biochemistry)
Office: 5-124 Nils Hasselmo Hall
Phone: 612-625-0957

Vincent Barnett (Physiology)
Office: 3-136 Jackson Hall
Phone: 612-624-8135

Summary: An introduction to the physiology, biochemistry, biophysics, and pathobiology of muscle. Lectures and reading assignments will be designed to provide the student with an understanding of current knowledge and models of muscle structure and function. Emphasis will be placed on interdisciplinary research that has contributed to our understanding of muscle function and malfunction at the molecular level. The principles will be illustrated by selected clinical applications, in order to understand muscle disease at the molecular level. Several laboratory demonstration sessions will serve to illustrate principles of muscle research. Primary emphasis will be placed on skeletal muscle, but smooth and cardiac muscle will also be discussed. Source material will be taken primarily from textbooks and review articles, with selected examples from the primary research literature. A term paper allows the student to focus on a particular area of interest. The course is designed for graduate students or advanced undergraduates, with a background in biochemistry and/or physiology. Typical classes include students from Biochemistry, Physiology, Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, Kinesiology, Pharmacology, Chemistry, and Biophysical Sciences, as well as extension students from Medtronic and other companies. Contact the course director if you have questions about the course.

Reference Materials:
Recommended Background Review: early in the course, you should review previous course material in basic muscle physiology and biochemistry ( , and protein structure ( All required reading will be posted here, along with the lecture notes.

Lecture outline:
1.    Membrane Physiology and Biochemistry:  membrane excitability, ion channels and pumps, action potentials, excitation-contraction coupling, sarcoplasmic reticulum, calcium regulation, molecular disorders of muscle membranes.
2.    Force Generation: contractile protein filaments, actomyosin, ATPase kinetics, mechanics of muscle fibers, cross-bridge structure and dynamics, structural and spectroscopic techniques, metabolism, fatigue and exercise, aging, molecular disorders of contractile proteins.

Grades:  There will be two take-home exams, a midterm (25% of grade) and a final (40% of grade), one week each.  A term paper (35% of grade) will be due in draft form three weeks before the end of the semester and in final form at the end of the semester.  This should be a concise (10-15 pages double-spaced) discussion focused on a few closely related articles from the original research literature.  The topic must be approved by one of the instructors.

Physiology majors should contact
Vincent Barnett
Office: 3-144 Jackson Hall
Phone: 612-624-8135