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Biochem Cell Biol. 1996;74(5):715-28.

Heterogeneity of myosin heavy-chain expression in fast-twitch fiber types of mature avian pectoralis muscle.

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University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Saskatoon, Canada.


The aims of this study are to investigate the diversity of myosin heavy-chain (MyHC) expression among avian fast-twitch fibers, and to test the hypothesis that dissimilar MyHC isoforms are found in each of the principal avian fast-twitch fiber types. MyHCs within the muscle fibers of the pectoralis of 31 species of bird are characterized using immunocytochemical methods. A library of 11 monoclonal antibodies previously produced against chicken MyHCs is used. The specificity of these antibodies for MyHCs in each of the muscles studied is confirmed by Western blots. The results show that avian fast-twitch glycolytic fibers and fast-twitch oxidative-glycolytic fibers can contain different MyHCs. Among the species studied, there is also a conspicuous variety of MyHC isoforms expressed. In addition, the results suggest that two epitopes are restricted to chickens and closely allied gallinaceous birds. There are no apparent correlations between between MyHC epitope and presupposed contractile properties. However, the presence of different isoforms in different fast-twitch fiber types suggests a correlation between isoform and contractile function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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