The cooperation of actin and myosin is a characteristic of metazoan musculature. Actin and myosin can be traced far back in evolution and functional changes can be detected. Among metazoan animals, the acto-myosin complex was present first in isolated myocytes, then it was present within epidermal cells (as epitheliomuscle cells), and finally it separated as fibre muscle cells to form muscles. Within muscle cells, myofilaments can have different arrangements: smooth, oblique, or cross-striated musculature. These patterns have functional importance and give restricted phylogenetic signals. A grid of longitudinal and circular musculature below the epidermis appears to be characteristic for bilaterian animals; this arrangement has been altered several times.
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