We have purified a polyclonal antibody by affinity chromatography which binds specifically to the phosphorylated form of the regulatory light chain (Mr = 20,000) of smooth muscle myosin. This antibody does not stain relaxed, permeabilized smooth muscle cells isolated from guinea pig taenia coli. However, when these cells were stimulated to contract with CaCl2 (100 microM) and ATP (1 mM), the immunofluorescence staining was localized in a series of transverse bands. This distribution of activated myosin appears to reflect an underlying structural organization of the smooth muscle cell cytoskeleton into mechanically coupled contractile zones.
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