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Myosin isoenzymes in fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscles of normal and dystrophic mice



Myosin isoenzymes in fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscles of normal and dystrophic mice



Journal of Physiology 343: 539-550



An analysis of the native myosin isoenzyme composition, myosin light-chain distribution and histochemical profile of fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscles of normal and dystrophic (129 REJ dy/dy) mice has been performed, and the results correlated with the known contractile abnormalities of murine dystrophic muscles. Normal mouse slow-twitch soleus contained two isomyosins (slow myosin, SM and intermediate myosin, IM) which were electrophoretically distinct from the three major isomyosins (FM1, FM2, FM3) of fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (e.d.l.) muscle. The calcium-activated ATPase activities of FM1, FM2, FM3 and IM at pH 9.2 were each much higher than that of SM, and this difference is reflected in the histochemical profile of muscle, as demonstrated with the myofibrillar ATPase reaction at alkaline pH. E.d.l. Type II fibres retained myofibrillar ATPase activity following pre-incubation of histochemical sections at pH 4.6, and were therefore classified Type IIB, whereas soleus Type II fibres did not, and were classified Type IIA. It was concluded that Type I (slow) fibres contain SM, Type IIA (intermediate) fibres contain IM, and Type IIB (fast) fibres contain FM1-FM3. Each electrophoretically distinct myosin contained a different combination of the five skeletal myosin light chains (LCs). Thus different normal muscles, which differed in their isomyosin profiles, differed also in their light-chain composition. Analysis of the distribution of native myosins (FM1, FM2, FM3, IM, SM, in order of decreasing gel migration rate) in dystrophic muscles revealed increased proportions of the slower-migrating forms, when compared with the distribution in the corresponding normal muscles. The shift in isomyosin distribution would explain the known decrease in the proportion of myosin light chain (LCf3) in murine dystrophic muscle. The abnormal isomyosin distribution in the dystrophic muscle is correlated with its altered histochemical characteristics, and with well-established abnormalities in its isometric and isotonic properties. It is concluded that the altered isomyosin distribution in murine dystrophic muscle would result in decreased power output per unit muscle mass when compared with normal muscle. The possibility is considered that defective myelination of the innervating nerve may contribute to these abnormalities by preventing higher frequency impulses from reaching muscle.

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Accession: 043710755

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PMID: 6227740

DOI: 10.1113/jphysiol.1983.sp014908


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