Question 12

Describe the process of excitation-contraction coupling and relaxation in smooth muscle.

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College Answer

This is a straightforward fact-based and process related question. It is important that candidates take the time to read the entire question prior to starting to write an answer. Unfortunately, many candidates wrote about skeletal muscle contraction which scored no marks. A good answer template included a description of the contractile elements of smooth muscle, the regulatory proteins and the role of calcium, and highlighted how these elements interact. They included descriptions of both the contractile and relaxation processes.