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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2007 May;292(5):C1915-26. Epub 2007 Jan 24.

Fiber types in canine muscles: myosin isoform expression and functional characterization.

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Department of Anatomy and Physiology, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 3, 35131 Padova, Italy.


This study was aimed to achieve a definitive and unambiguous identification of fiber types in canine skeletal muscles and of myosin isoforms that are expressed therein. Correspondence of canine myosin isoforms with orthologs in other species as assessed by base sequence comparison was the basis for primer preparation and for expression analysis with RT-PCR. Expression was confirmed at protein level with histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and SDS-PAGE combined together and showed that limb and trunk muscles of the dog express myosin heavy chain (MHC) type 1, 2A, and 2X isoforms and the so-called "type 2dog" fibers express the MHC-2X isoform. MHC-2A was found to be the most abundant isoform in the trunk and limb muscle. MHC-2X was expressed in most but not all muscles and more frequently in hybrid 2A-2X fibers than in pure 2X fibers. MHC-2B was restricted to specialized extraocular and laryngeal muscles, although 2B mRNA, but not 2B protein, was occasionally detected in the semimembranosus muscle. Isometric tension (P(o)) and maximum shortening velocity (V(o)) were measured in single fibers classified on the basis of their MHC isoform composition. Purified myosin isoforms were extracted from single muscle fibers and characterized by the speed (V(f)) of actin filament sliding on myosin in an in vitro motility assay. A close proportionality between V(o) and V(f) indicated that the diversity in V(o) was due to the different myosin isoform composition. V(o) increased progressively in the order 1/slow < 2A < 2X < 2B, thus confirming the identification of the myosin isoforms and providing their first functional characterization of canine muscle fibers.

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