Structure and Contraction in Insect Flight Muscle

My work involves Tomography of Insect flight muscle, which provides 3-D in situ information of various components of the muscle. 3-D Correspondence analysis is used to process a large number of repeats extracted from tomograms. By atomic model fitting, we can access details of the interaction between muscle proteins. Tomograms of muscles in different states have been collected, including the Ca-activated isometric contraction, and its response to quick stretch and quick release. With the help of newly-developed techniques and improved facilities, we hope to get a better understanding of muscle activation, force-generation, responses to length-changing, and various other mechanisms.


  • Jun Liu, Shenping Wu, Mary C. Reedy, Hanspeter Winkler, Carmen Lucaveche, Yifan Cheng, Michael K. Reedy, and Kenneth A. Taylor. Electron tomography of swollen rigor fibers of insect flight muscle reveals a short and variably angled S2 domain. J. Mol. Biol. 362, 844-860 (2006)
  • K. A. Taylor, S. Wu, M. C. Reedy & M. K. Reedy. Imaging actomyosin in situ. In: Methods in Cell Biology: Cellular Electron Microscopy. J. Richard McIntosh, Editor. Academic Press, San Diego, CA. pp 321-368 (2007).
  • Shenping Wu, Jun Liu, Mary C. Reedy, Hanspeter Winkler , Michael K. Reedy & Kenneth A. Taylor. Methods for identifying and averaging variable molecular conformations in tomograms of actively contracting insect flight muscle. J. Struct. Biol. 168, 485-502 (2009). PMCID: PMC2805068.
  • Shenping Wu, Jun Liu, Mary C. Reedy, Richard T. Tregear, Hanspeter Winkler,  Clara Franzini-Armstrong, Hiroyuki Sasaki, Carmen Lucaveche, Yale E. Goldman, Michael K. Reedy, and Kenneth A. Taylor. Electron tomography of cryofixed, isometrically contracting insect flight muscle reveals novel actin-myosin interactions. PLoS ONE 5(9): e12643 (2010).


  • Shenping Wu, Mary C. Reedy, Jun Liu, Yale E. Goldman, Michael K. Reedy, Kenneth A. Taylor. 3-D Imaging of Isometrically Contracting Insect Flight Muscle Fibers Rapidly Frozen after Imposing a Rapid Stretch. Biophy. J. (Abstracts of 50th Annual Meeting) pg 286a (2006) (poster presentation by SW).

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