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EMBO J. 1990 Nov;9(11):3459-67.

Identification and localization of high molecular weight proteins in insect flight and leg muscle.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, FRG.


Thick and thin filaments in asynchronous flight muscle overlap nearly completely and thick filaments are attached to the Z-disc by connecting filaments. We have raised antibodies against a fraction of Lethocerus flight muscle myofibrils containing Z-discs and associated filaments and also against a low ionic strength extract of myofibrils. Monoclonal antibodies were obtained to proteins of 800 kd (p800), 700 kd (p700), 400 kd (p400) and alpha-actinin. The positions of the proteins in Lethocerus flight and leg myofibrils were determined by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. p800 is in connecting filaments of flight myofibrils and in A-bands of leg myofibrils. p700 is in Z-discs of flight myofibrils and an immunologically related protein, p500, is in leg muscle Z-discs. p400 is in M-lines of both flight and leg myofibrils. Preliminary DNA sequencing shows that p800 is related to vertebrate titin and nematode twitchin. Molecules of p800 could extend from the Z-disc a short way along thick filaments, forming a mechanical link between the two structures. All three high molecular weight proteins probably stabilize the structure of the myofibril.

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