Peter J. Reiser

Mentor Faculty
Department of Oral Biology
Department of Physiology and Cell Biology


Research Description:

The research in my laboratory is focused on the regulation of muscle contraction by myofibrillar protein isoforms. Skeletal and cardiac muscles have the ability to express a very large number of isoforms of the proteins that comprise sarcomeres, the intracellular functional units of muscle. Results of completed studies show that there are important functional consequences when one isoform of a given protein substitutes for a different isoform of the same protein. The general approach that is employed in this laboratory to study specific relationships between protein isoforms and muscle mechanics is to measure the contractile properties of single, isolated muscle cells and subsequently determine the contractile protein isoform composition of the same cells. The functional significance of contractile protein isoforms is established in this manner. An additional area of interest is the determination of the physiological factors that regulate the expression of specific isoforms of contractile proteins. These two research focus areas complement each other in that the natural, or experimentally-imposed, activation pattern of skeletal muscle in vivo is a strong determinant of contractile protein isoform expression and the expressed isoforms regulate contractile properties in a manner to ensure an appropriate mechanical response to the activating stimulus.

  • Ph.D., Physiology, The Ohio State University, 1981

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