This muscle biochemistry glossary contains terms commonly referenced in descriptions of diseases affecting skeletal muscle, and specifically McArdle’s Disease or Type V glycogen storage disease. Please submit for inclusion any terms you feel may be helpful in educating people about McArdle’s Disease and other muscular diseases. Note: these are concise definitions included to improve the average site viewer’s understand of basic biochemistry. Please refer to linked sites for in-depth explanations.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
Citric Acid Cycle
Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (Cyclic AMP)
Actin is a structural protein that, among other roles, forms the thin strand-like filaments within muscle cells. Actin fibers and the motor protein myosin form the “thick” filament myofibrils involved in skeletal muscle contraction. Actin is also involved in cell structure and motility, cell signaling and other important functions. The motor proteins that, with actin fibers, contract and relax muscle fibers derive their energy from ATP.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and enzymes. All proteins in the human body are formed from the same 20 amino acids. In protein biosynthesis, amino acids form chains called peptides, and this unique sequence of amino acids (also called primary protein structure) in these peptides is ultimately what confers upon protein their unique three-dimensional structure. When this sequence is altered, for example through a mutation in the corresponding gene’s DNA sequence, the result can be a non-functional protein or enzyme.
Adenosine triphosphate is an important molecule used to transfer energy within cells. Enzymes and proteins harness the potential energy released when ATP reacts with water to facilitate activities of metabolism and other important functions, including muscular contraction performed by ATP-driven motor proteins.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. Those carbohydrates come from the plant-based foods that you eat. You can either use carbohydrates right away for your energy needs or your body can convert them into fat to use later. There are three types of carbohydrates — sugars, starches and fiber. (full definition from About.com)