Dictionary > Myofilament


noun, plural: myofilaments
Any of the filaments made up of proteins and comprise the myofibril
Myofilaments are threadlike structures that comprise the myofibril inside the muscle cell (or muscle fiber). There are two main types of myofilaments: (1) thin filaments and (2) thick filaments. In a skeletal muscle, the myofilaments are arranged in a repeating pattern of light and dark bands. Each unit is referred to as a sarcomere, which is the basic functional unit of a muscle. In smooth muscle, the filaments are not arranged in a regular pattern, thus they appear smooth when viewed through the microscope. The thin filament (about 7 nm in diameter) is comprised of two strands of actin and a strand of regulatory protein whereas the thick filament (about 15 nm in diameter) is made up of staggered arrays of myosin molecules.1 Another type of filament is called elastic filament that is only about 1 nm in diameter. It anchors the thick filament to the Z-line of a sarcomere.
Word origin: Greek mûs (mouse; muscle) + Latin filamentum, filare, filum (thread)
See also:


1 Campbell, N. A. (1998). Biology. San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.

You will also like...

Gibberellins and Gibberellic Acid
Gibberellins and Gibberellic Acid

This tutorial describes the role of gibberellin family in plants. Find out the effects of gibberellin on plant growth an..

primitive arthropods

The arthropods were assumed to be the first taxon of species to possess jointed limbs and exoskeleton, exhibit more adva..

green plant cells
Plant Cells vs. Animal Cells

Plant cells have plastids essential in photosynthesis. They also have an additional layer called cell wall on their cell..

Homeostasis by water regulation
Homeostasis of Organism Water Regulation

Osmoregulation is the regulation of water concentrations in the bloodstream, effectively controlling the amount of water..

Crossing Over and Genetic Diversity
Inheritance and Probability

Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk, is most famous in this field for his study of the phenotype of pea plants, including ..

DNA molecule
Genetic Control – On and Off Genes

Genes are the blueprint of our bodies, a blueprint that creates a variety of proteins essential to any organism's surviv..