Myoglobin (Mb) is an intensely studied hemoprotein that is restricted mainly to the heart and oxidative myofibers in skeletal muscle. Previous physiologic and pharmacologic studies have supported a role for Mb in facilitated oxygen transport or as an oxygen reservoir in striated muscle. Transgenic and gene disruption technologies have been utilized to produce mice that lack Mb. Studies utilizing these transgenic mouse models support the notion that Mb may have multiple, diverse functions in the heart. Future studies using these emerging technologies will further enhance the understanding of the role of Mb and other hemoproteins in cardiovascular biology.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Drs. R. Sanders Williams, Rhonda Bassel-Duby, and Annette Meeson for helpful discussions throughout the course of these studies. They also acknowledge funding support from the National Institutes of Health (HL63788) and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.