Launikonis Group - Muscle research

The main interest of the lab is Excitation-Contraction Coupling and Calcium Regulation in Skeletal Muscle. The focus is to understand the mechanisms that (i) control calcium release during activity in muscle, and (ii) maintain calcium homeostasis in skeletal muscle fibres. Within this broad focus, the roles of ion channels, pumps and membrane lipid composition in skeletal muscle physiology are studied. Significant emphasis is given to how properties of the muscle change in disease and other stressed states. To unravel the physiological mechanisms that control skeletal muscle activity, imaging of muscle cell structures and calcium movements are performed.

We have recently started working human muscle fibres obtained from needle biopsies, in conjunction with our colleagues in The School of Human Movement. We hope to gain a greater understand of ionic regulation in human muscle health, exercise and disease states.

Group Head


  • Mr Luke Pearce

    Research Technician & Research Technician
    School of Biomedical Sciences


Choi RH, Koenig X & Launikonis BS (2017). Dantrolene requires Mg2+ to arrest malignant hyperthermia. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 114, 4811-4815.

Bakker AJ, Cully TR, Wingate C, Barclay CJ & Launikonis BS (2017). Doublet stimulation increases Ca2+ binding to troponin C to ensure rapid force development in skeletal muscle. J Gen Physiol 149, 323-334.

Cully TR, Murphy RM, Roberts L, Raastad T, Fassett RG, Coombes JS, Jayasinghe ID & Launikonis BS (2017). Human skeletal muscle plasmalemma alters its structure to change its Ca2+-handling following heavy-load resistance exercise. Nat Commun 8, 14266. 

Cully, Tanya R.Edwards, Joshua N.Murphy, Robyn M. and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2016) A quantitative description of tubular system Ca2+ handling in fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibresJournal of Physiology594 11: 2795-2810. doi:10.1113/JP271658

Cully, Tanya R. and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2016) Leaky ryanodine receptors delay the activation of store overload-induced Ca2+ release, a mechanism underlying malignant hyperthermia-like events in dystrophic muscleAmerican Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology310 8: C673-C680. doi:10.1152/ajpcell.00366.2015

Cully, Tanya R.Edwards, Joshua N. and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2014) Activation and propagation of Ca2+ release from inside the sarcoplasmic reticulum network of mammalian skeletal muscleJournal of Physiology592 17: 3727-3746. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2014.274274

Jayasinghe, Isuru D.Munro, MichelleBaddeley, DavidLaunikonis, Bradley S. and Soeller, Christian (2014) Observation of the molecular organization of calcium release sites in fast- and slowtwitch skeletal muscle with nanoscale imagingJournal of the Royal Society Interface11 99: . doi:10.1098/rsif.2014.0570

Jayasinghe, Isuru D. and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2013) Three-dimensional reconstruction and analysis of the tubular system of vertebrate skeletal muscleJournal of Cell Science126 17: 4048-4058. doi:10.1242/jcs.131565

Jayasinghe, Isuru D.Lo, Harriet P.Morgan, Garry P.Baddeley, DavidParton, Robert G.Soeller, Christian and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2013) Examination of the subsarcolemmal tubular system of mammalian skeletal muscle fibersBiophysical Journal104 11: L19-L21. doi:10.1016/j.bpj.2013.04.029

Cully, Tanya R. and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2013) Store-operated Ca2+ entry is not required for store refilling in skeletal muscleClinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology40 5: 338-344. doi:10.1111/1440-1681.12078

Cully, Tanya R.Edwards, Joshua N.Friedrich, OliverStephenson, D. GeorgeMurphy, Robyn M. and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2012) Changes in plasma membrane Ca-ATPase and stromal interacting molecule 1 expression levels for Ca2+ signaling in dystrophic mdx mouse muscle.American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology303 5: C567-C576. doi:10.1152/ajpcell.00144.2012

Edwards, Joshua N.Cully, Tanya R.Shannon, Thomas R.Stephenson, D. George and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2012) Longitudinal and transversal propagation of excitation along the tubular system of rat fast-twitch muscle fibres studied by high speed confocal microscopyJournal of Physiology590 3: 475-491. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2011.221796

Edwards, Joshua N.Blackmore, Daniel G.Gilbert, Daniel F.Murphy, Robyn M. and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2011) Store-operated calcium entry remains fully functional in aged mouse skeletal muscle despite a decline in STIM1 protein expressionAging Cell10 4: 675-685. doi:10.1111/j.1474-9726.2011.00706.x

Launikonis, Bradley S.Murphy, Robyn M. and Edwards, Joshua N. (2010) Toward the roles of store-operated Ca(2+) entry in skeletal musclePflugers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology460 5: 813-823. doi:10.1007/s00424-010-0856-7

Edwards, Joshua N.Friedrich, OliverCully, Tanya R.von Wegner, FredericMurphy, Robyn M. and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2010) Upregulation of store-operated Ca2+ entry in dystrophic mdx mouse muscleAmerican Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology299 1: C42-C50. doi:10.1152/ajpcell.00524.2009

Edwards, Joshua N.Murphy, Robyn M.Cully, Tanya R.von Wegner, FredericFriedrich, Oliver and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2010) Ultra-rapid activation and deactivation of store-operated Ca2+ entry in skeletal muscleCell Calcium47 5: 458-467. doi:10.1016/j.ceca.2010.04.001

Launikonis, Bradley S.Stephenson, D. George and Friedrich, Oliver (2009) Rapid Ca2+ flux through the transverse tubular membrane, activated by individual action potentials in mammalian skeletal muscleJournal of Physiology587 10: 2299-2312. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2009.168682

Edwards, Joshua N. and Launikonis, Bradley S. (2008) The accessibility and interconnectivity of the tubular system network in toad skeletal muscleThe Jounal of Physiology586 21: 5077-5089. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2008.155127

Launikonis, BS and Rios, E (2007) Store-operated Ca2+ entry during intracellular Ca2+ release in mammalian skeletal muscleJournal of Physiology-london583 1: 81-97. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2007.135046

Launikonis, B. S.Zhou, J. S.Royer, L.Shannon, T. R.Brum, G. and Rios, E. (2006) Depletion "skraps" and dynamic buffering inside the cellular calcium storeProceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America103 8: 2982-2987. doi:10.1073/pnas.0511252103

  • Ryanodine receptor-related myopathies in human muscle.
  • Changes in calcium handling in human muscle with exercise.
  • The nucleus of skeletal muscle.
  • Calcium handling in the diaphragm muscle; and the effects of mechanical ventilation/preterm birth.


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