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M line

Recommended video: Skeletal muscle tissue [12:25]
This type of tissue is found in skeletal muscles and is responsible for the voluntary movements of bones.

The M line, from German 'Mittelscheibe' meaning 'middle disc', is the fine vertical line in the center of the sarcomere, which links myosin (thick) filaments to each other in a lattice-like arrangement. The protein myomesin anchors the myosin filaments to the M line. A titin molecule also spans between the Z-disc to the M-line, which contains elastic properties and provides muscle fibers passive resistance to stretching.

During a muscle contraction, the myosin heads swing towards the M line and slide the attached actin filament towards it to shorten the length of the sarcomere.

Terminology English: M line
Latin: Linea M
Definition Vertical line in the center of the sarcomere to which myosin filaments are anchored
Function Anchor point for myosin filaments, maintains structural integrity of the sarcomere during muscle contractio

Learn more about skeletal muscle structure with this study unit (and article):

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