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Biophys J. 2011 Jul 20;101(2):494-503. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.05.065.

Modeling of supramolecular centrosymmetry effect on sarcomeric SHG intensity pattern of skeletal muscles.

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Institut de Physique de Rennes, UMR UR1-Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 6251, Rennes, France.


A theoretical far-field second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging radiation pattern is calculated for muscular myosin taking into account both Gouy effect and light diffraction under high focusing excitation. Theoretical analysis, in agreement with experimental results obtained on healthy Xenopus muscles, shows that the increase on intensity at the middle of the sarcomeric SHG intensity pattern is generated by an off-axis constructive interference related to the specific antipolar distribution of myosin molecules within the sarcomere. The best fit of the experimental sarcomeric SHG intensity pattern was obtained with an estimated size of antiparallel, intrathick filaments' packing-width of 115 ± 25 nm localized at the M-band. During proteolysis, experimental sarcomeric SHG intensity pattern exhibits decrease on intensity at the center of the sarcomere. An effective intra- and interthick filaments centrosymmetry of 320 ± 25 nm, in agreement with ultrastructural disorganization observed at the electron microscopy level, was necessary to fit the experimental sarcomeric SHG intensity pattern. Our results show that sarcomeric SHG intensity pattern is very sensitive to misalignment of thick filaments and highlights the potential usefulness of SHG microscopy to diagnose proteolysis-induced muscular disorders.

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