Skeletal Muscle Energy Metabolism

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As we have seen, ATP performs three functions directly related to muscle-fiber contraction and relaxation (see Table 11-1). In no other cell type does the rate of ATP breakdown increase so much from one moment to the next as in a skeletal muscle fiber (20 to several hundredfold depending on the type of muscle fiber) when it goes from rest to a state of contractile activity. The small supply of preformed ATP that exists at the start of contractile activity would only support a few twitches. If a fiber is to sustain contractile activity, molecules of ATP must be produced by metabolism as rapidly as they are broken down during the contractile process.

There are three ways a muscle fiber can form ATP during contractile activity (Figure 11-26): (1) phosphorylation of ADP by creatine phosphate, (2) oxida-tive phosphorylation of ADP in the mitochondria, and (3) substrate-level phosphorylation of ADP by the gly-colytic pathway in the cytosol.

Phosphorylation of ADP by creatine phosphate (CP) provides a very rapid means of forming ATP at the onset of contractile activity. When the chemical bond between creatine (C) and phosphate is broken, the amount of energy released is about the same as that released when the terminal phosphate bond in ATP is broken. This energy, along with the phosphate group, can be transferred to ADP to form ATP in a reversible reaction catalyzed by creatine kinase:

Creatine kinase

Although creatine phosphate is a high-energy molecule, its energy cannot be released by myosin to drive cross-bridge activity. During periods of rest, muscle fibers build up a concentration of creatine phosphate approximately five times that of ATP. At the beginning of contraction, when the concentration of ATP begins to fall and that of ADP to rise owing to the increased rate of ATP breakdown by myosin, mass action favors the formation of ATP from creatine phosphate. This transfer of energy is so rapid that the concentration of ATP in a muscle fiber changes very little at the start of contraction, whereas the concentration of creatine phosphate falls rapidly.

Although the formation of ATP from creatine phosphate is very rapid, requiring only a single enzymatic reaction, the amount of ATP that can be formed by this process is limited by the initial concentration of creatine phosphate in the cell. If contractile activity is to be continued for more than a few seconds, the muscle must be able to form ATP from the other two sources listed above. The use of creatine phosphate at the start of contractile activity provides the few seconds necessary for the slower, multienzyme pathways of oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis to increase their rates of ATP formation to levels that match the rates of ATP breakdown.

At moderate levels of muscular activity, most of the ATP used for muscle contraction is formed by ox-idative phosphorylation, and during the first 5 to 10 min of such exercise, muscle glycogen is the major fuel

Vander et al.: Human Physiology: The Mechanism of Body Function, Eighth Edition



Atp Sourcers Skeletal Muscle

FIGURE 11-26

The three sources of ATP production during muscle contraction: (1) creatine phosphate, (2) oxidative phosphorylation, and (3) glycolysis.

FIGURE 11-26

The three sources of ATP production during muscle contraction: (1) creatine phosphate, (2) oxidative phosphorylation, and (3) glycolysis.

contributing to oxidative phosphorylation. For the next 30 min or so, blood-borne fuels become dominant, blood glucose and fatty acids contributing approximately equally; beyond this period, fatty acids become progressively more important, and glucose utilization decreases.

If the intensity of exercise exceeds about 70 percent of the maximal rate of ATP breakdown, however, glycolysis contributes an increasingly significant fraction of the total ATP generated by the muscle. The glycolytic pathway, although producing only small quantities of ATP from each molecule of glucose metabolized, can produce large quantities of ATP when enough enzymes and substrate are available, and it can do so in the absence of oxygen. The glucose for glycolysis can be obtained from two sources: the blood or the stores of glycogen within the contracting muscle fibers. As the intensity of muscle activity increases, a greater fraction of the total ATP production is formed by anaerobic glycolysis, with a corresponding increase in the production of lactic acid (which dissociates to yield lactate ions and hydrogen ions).

At the end of muscle activity, creatine phosphate and glycogen levels in the muscle have decreased, and to return a muscle fiber to its original state, these energy-storing compounds must be replaced. Both processes require energy, and so a muscle continues to consume increased amounts of oxygen for some time after it has ceased to contract, as evidenced by the fact that one continues to breathe deeply and rapidly for a period of time immediately following intense exercise. This elevated consumption of oxygen following exercise repays what has been called the oxygen debt— that is, the increased production of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation following exercise that is used to restore the energy reserves in the form of creatine phosphate and glycogen.

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Your Metabolism - What You Need To Know

Your Metabolism - What You Need To Know

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    Is The phosphorylation of ADP to form ATP reversible?
    8 years ago
  • alida
    What is the role of phosphate bond energy in contratile activity of mucles?
    2 years ago
  • massawa
    What is the role of phosphate bond energy in contractile muscle?
    2 years ago
  • bobby
    How to give presentation on skletal muscle energy metabolism?
    1 year ago

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