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J Cell Sci. 1992 Mar;101 ( Pt 3):635-46.

The 14 kDa beta-galactoside binding lectin in myoblast and myotube cultures: localization by confocal microscopy.

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  • 1AFRC Institute of Animal Physiology & Genetics Research, Babraham, Cambridge, UK.


The endogenous 14 kDa beta-galactoside-specific lectin has been localised in myoblasts and myotubes by indirect immunofluorescence using confocal microscopy. The antibodies used in these experiments suggest that in myoblast cultures the lectin is abundant on the cell surface and concentrated at ruffled edges of migrating cells. The quantity and distribution of cell surface lectin is independent of the nature of the substratum and undiminished by brief trypsinisation or lactose-washing of the cell suspension. The lectin is also abundant intracellularly, apparently relatively free in the cytoplasm until the cells approach confluency, when the lectin is concentrated into particular areas of cytoplasm resulting in a 'patchy' appearance of stained cells. After fusion to form multinucleate myotubes, intracellular lectin is less abundant and concentrated at the periphery of myotubes, from where lectin appears to be released in vesicles packed with lectin which 'bud off' from the myotube surface. In recolonising cultures, lectin is apparently more abundant and lectin-packed vesicles can also be seen 'budding off' from myoblasts. In differentiated cultures, extracellular lectin is detected both on the myotube surface and in fibrillar arrays of extracellular material.

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