News Releases & Research Results Study identifies the mechanism of muscle contraction by designing molecular nanosystems―The findings are expected to be applicable in precision medicine in cardiomyopathy

News Releases & Research Results


Results of research by the research team of Special Researcher Keisuke Fujita, Researcher Masashi Ohmachi, Deputy Team Leader Mitsuhiro Iwaki, Team Leader Toshio Yanagida of the Laboratory for Cell Dynamics Research, RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research, and others.

The key results of research are as follows

  • By artificially designing a part of the functional unit of muscle contraction, sarcomere (*1), and using laser dark-field microscopy and high-speed cameras, the study successfully viewed the dynamics of processive molecular motors (*2) directly at the world’s best resolution.
    *1: The structure of the smallest unit of muscle contraction that can be seen when muscle fibers are observed at the micro level.
    *2: The generic term for molecules (proteins) that convert chemical energy obtained from hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into mechanical energy.
  • The results of research are expected to allow a direct and accurate analysis of the effects of low-molecular compounds that control the function of molecular motors and lead to the development of new therapeutic agents for heart failure.

This research was conducted with the support of Brain Mapping by Integrated Neurotechnologies for Disease Studies by AMED.

The results of research were published in Communications Biology, a British online scientific journal, on November 27.


Fujita K, et al. Direct visualization of human myosin II force generation using DNA origami-based thick filaments Communications Biology


Last updated 11/27/19