|Abstract:Tarantula's leg muscle thick filament is the ideal model for the study of the structure and function of skeletal muscle thick filaments. Its analysis has given rise to a series of structural and functional studies, leading, among other things, to the discovery of the myosin interacting-heads motif (IHM). Further electron microscopy (EM) studies have shown the presence of IHM in frozen-hydrated and negatively stained thick filaments of striated, cardiac, and smooth muscle of bilaterians, most showing the IHM parallel to the filament axis. EM studies on negatively stained heavy meromyosin of different species have shown the presence of IHM on sponges, animals that lack muscle, extending the presence of IHM to metazoans. The IHM evolved about 800 MY ago in the ancestor of Metazoa, and independently with functional differences in the lineage leading to the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum (Mycetozoa). This motif conveys important functional advantages, such as Ca(2+) regulation and ATP energy-saving mechanisms. Recent interest has focused on human IHM structure in order to understand the structural basis underlying various conditions and situations of scientific and medical interest: the hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathies, overfeeding control, aging and hormone deprival muscle weakness, drug design for schistosomiasis control, and conditioning exercise physiology for the training of power athletes.