Synchrotron radiation X-ray diffraction studies on muscle: past, present, and future.


Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute, SPring-8, 1-1-1 Kouto, Sayo-cho, Sayo-gun, Hyogo, 679-5198, Japan. [Email]


X-ray diffraction is a technique to study the structure of materials at spatial resolutions up to an atomic scale. In the field of life science, the X-ray diffraction technique is especially suited to study materials having periodical structures, such as protein crystals, nucleic acids, and muscle. Among others, muscle is a dynamic structure and the molecular events occurring during muscle contraction have been the main interest among muscle researchers. In early days, the laboratory X-ray generators were unable to deliver X-ray flux strong enough to resolve the dynamic molecular events in muscle. This situation has dramatically been changed by the advent of intense synchrotron radiation X-rays and advanced detectors, and today X-ray diffraction patterns can be recorded from muscle at sub-millisecond time resolutions. In this review, we shed light mainly on the technical aspects of the history and the current status of the X-ray diffraction studies on muscle and discuss what will be made possible for muscle studies by the advance of new techniques.


Coherent diffractive imaging,Muscle,Synchrotron radiation,Time-resolved measurements,X-ray diffraction,X-ray microbeam,