Nonmuscle myosin II localizes to the Z-lines and intercalated discs of cardiac muscle and to the Z-lines of skeletal muscle

Kazuyo Takeda, Zu Xi Yu, Sujuan Qian, Thomas K. Chin, Robert S. Adelstein, Victor J. Ferrans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


To understand the role of nonmuscle myosin II in cardiac and skeletal muscle, we used a number of polyclonal antibodies, three detecting nonmuscle myosin heavy chain II-B (NMHC II-B) and two detecting NMHC II-A, to examine the localization of these two proteins in fresh-frozen, acetone-fixed sections of normal human and mouse hearts and human skeletal muscles. Results were similar in both species and were confirmed by examination of fresh- frozen sections of human hearts subjected to no fixation or to treatment with either 4% p-formaldehyde or 50% glycerol. NMHC II-B was diffusely distributed in the cytoplasm of cardiac myocytes during development, but after birth it was localized to the Z-lines and intercalated discs. Dual labeling showed almost complete colocalization of NMHC II-B with α-actinin. Whereas endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts showed strong immunoreactivity for NMHC II-A and NMHC II-B, cardiac myocytes only showed reactivity for the latter. The Z-lines of human skeletal muscle cells, in contrast to those of cardiac myocytes, gave positive reactions for both NMHC II-A and NMHC II-B. The presence of a motor protein in the Z-lines and intercalated discs raises the possibility that these structures may play a more dynamic role in the contraction/relaxation mechanism of cardiac and skeletal muscle than has been previously suspected. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-68
Number of pages10
JournalCell Motility and the Cytoskeleton
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonmuscle myosin II localizes to the Z-lines and intercalated discs of cardiac muscle and to the Z-lines of skeletal muscle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this