Send to

Choose Destination
J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2009;30(5-6):171-85. doi: 10.1007/s10974-009-9189-6. Epub 2009 Oct 15.

The vertebrate muscle Z-disc: sarcomere anchor for structure and signalling.

Author information

Molecular Medicine Section, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Erratum in

  • J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2011 Mar;31(5-6):383.


The Z-disc, appearing as a fine dense line forming sarcomere boundaries in striated muscles, when studied in detail reveals crosslinked filament arrays that transmit tension and house myriads of proteins with diverse functions. At the Z-disc the barbed ends of the antiparallel actin filaments from adjoining sarcomeres interdigitate and are crosslinked primarily by layers of alpha-actinin. The Z-disc is therefore the site of polarity reversal of the actin filaments, as needed to interact with the bipolar myosin filaments in successive sarcomeres. The layers of alpha-actinin determine the Z-disc width: fast fibres have narrow (approximately 30-50 nm) Z-discs and slow and cardiac fibres have wide (approximately 100 nm) Z-discs. Comprehensive reviews on the roles of the numerous proteins located at the Z-disc in signalling and disease have been published; the aim here is different, namely to review the advances in structural aspects of the Z-disc.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center