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n. (context muscle English) The contractile unit of the myofibril of a striated muscle.


n. one of the segments into which a myofibril is divided


A sarcomere (Greek sarx "flesh", meros "part") is the basic unit of striated muscle tissue. Skeletal muscles are composed of tubular muscle cells ( myocytes called muscle fibers) which are formed in a process known as myogenesis. Muscle fibers are composed of tubular myofibrils. Myofibrils are composed of repeating sections of sarcomeres, which appear under the microscope as dark and light bands. Sarcomeres are composed of long, fibrous proteins as filaments that slide past each other when a muscle contracts or relaxes.

Two of the important proteins are myosin, which forms the thick filament, and actin, which forms the thin filament. Myosin has a long, fibrous tail and a globular head, which binds to actin. The myosin head also binds to ATP, which is the source of energy for muscle movement. Myosin can only bind to actin when the binding sites on actin are exposed by calcium ions.

Actin molecules are bound to the Z line, which forms the borders of the sarcomere. Other bands appear when the sarcomere is relaxed.

A muscle fiber from a biceps muscle may contain 100,000 sarcomeres. The myofibrils of smooth muscle cells are not arranged into sarcomeres.

Usage examples of "sarcomere".

One variation is the different structures of ometvah muscles, which have thicker and more abundant thick and thin filaments in the measurement of one sarcomere on a muscle fiber.