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Anal Biochem. 2012 Jun 15;425(2):175-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2012.03.018. Epub 2012 Mar 30.

Human skeletal muscle fiber type specific protein content.

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  • 1Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA.


The aim of this project was to develop a method to assess fiber type specific protein content across the continuum of human skeletal muscle fibers. Individual vastus lateralis muscle fibers (n = 264) were clipped into two portions: one for sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) fiber typing and one for Western blot protein identification. Following fiber type determination, fiber segments were combined into fiber type specific pools (∼20 fibers/pool) and measured for total protein quantity, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), citrate synthase (CS), and total p38 content. GAPDH content was 64, 54, 160, and 138% more abundant in myosin heavy chain (MHC) I/IIa, MHC IIa, MHC IIa/IIx, and MHC IIx fibers, respectively, when compared with MHC I. Inversely, CS content was 528, 472, 242, and 47% more abundant in MHC I, MHC I/IIa, MHC IIa, and MHC IIa/IIx fibers, respectively, when compared with MHC IIx. Total p38 content was 87% greater in MHC IIa versus MHC I fibers. These data and this approach establish a reliable method for human skeletal muscle fiber type specific protein analysis. Initial results show that particular proteins exist in a hierarchal fashion throughout the continuum of human skeletal muscle fiber types, further highlighting the necessity of fiber type specific analysis.

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