The distribution of two isoforms of spectrin in the adult mouse heart was investigated by Western blotting and immunocytochemistry by use of monospecific antibodies to erythrocyte spectrin and nonerythroid brain spectrin (240/235). Western blotting revealed proteins analogous to both isoforms of α-spectrin in adult heart. Light-microscopic immunocytochemistry indicated that erythroid spectrin was distributed throughout the myocardium, with immunofluorescence localized to plasma membranes, Z-lines, and intercalated discs. Antibodies to brain spectrin (240/235) exhibited staining throughout the heart, with a generally diffuse distribution except for the prominent immunoreactivity associated with the intercalated discs. Nonerythroid spectrin immunofluorescence was detected in the endothelial cells of the endocardium and the mesothelial cell lining of the epicardium. Erythrocyte spectrin was not detected in the endocardium or the epicardium. The identification and localization of spectrin isoforms in the mammalian heart suggest the importance of spectrin proteins in the structural integrity and proper function of cardiac cells and tissues. This is the first demonstration of two different α-spectrin subunits in the mammalian heart.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology