Received July 15, 2013
Troponin complex is a component of skeletal and cardiac muscle thin filaments. It consists of three subunits – troponin I, T, and C, and it plays a crucial role in muscle activity, connecting changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration with generation of contraction. In spite of more than 40 years of studies, many aspects of troponin functioning are still not completely understood, and several models describing the mechanism of muscle contraction exist. Being a key factor in the regulation of cardiac muscle contraction, troponin complex is utilized in medicine as a target for some cardiotonic drugs used in the treatment of heart failure. A number of mutations in troponin subunits are associated with development of different types of cardiomyopathy. Moreover, for the last 25 years cardiac isoforms of troponin I and T have been widely used for immunochemical diagnostics of pathologies associated with cardiomyocyte death (myocardial infarction, myocardial trauma, and others). This review summarizes the existing evidence on the structure and function of troponin complex subunits, their role in the regulation of cardiac muscle contraction, and their clinical applications.
KEY WORDS: troponin complex, muscle contraction, phosphorylation, troponin I, troponin T, troponin C