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J Exp Zool. 1988 Mar;245(3):232-43.

Histochemical and biochemical characterization of two slow fiber types in decapod crustacean muscles.

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Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523.


Myofibrillar proteins in muscles of the claws and abdomen of lobster, Homarus americanus, and the claws of fiddler crab, Uca pugnax, and land crab, Gecarcinus lateralis, have been analyzed with sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Fibers contained numerous isoforms of structural and regulatory proteins in assemblages correlated with fiber type. One fast (F) and two slow (S1 and S2) fibers were identified. All F fibers possessed two isoforms of paramyosin (P1 and P2), while all slow fibers, with the exception of Uca major claw, contained only the P2 variant. S1 and S2 fibers were distinguished by the distribution of a large isoform of troponin-T (T1; Mr = 55,000); S2 fibers in all three species contained T1 in addition to one or two smaller-molecular-weight variants usually associated with S1 fibers. In order to determine whether the slow fibers differed in histochemical properties, land crab claw closer muscle was cryosectioned and stained for myofibrillar ATPase and NADH diaphorase activities. Most S2 fibers had lower ATPase and higher NADH diaphorase activities than S1 fibers, which indicated that S2 fibers had a lower rate of contraction and were more fatigue-resistant than S1 fibers. It is proposed that the S1 and S2 fibers defined by biochemical and histochemical criteria are identical to the slow-twitch and tonic fibers, respectively characterized physiologically.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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