Although significant progress has been made regarding the structure and function of titin, little data exist on the biosynthesis of this large protein in developing muscle. Using pulse-labeling with [35S]methionine and immunoprecipitation with an anti-titin mAb, we have examined the biosynthesis of titin in synchronized cultures of skeletal muscle cells derived from day 12 chicken embryos. We find that: (a) titin synthesis increases greater than 4-fold during the first week in culture and during this same time period, synthesis of muscle-specific myosin heavy chain increases greater than 12-fold; (b) newly synthesized titin has a t1/2 of approximately 70 h; (c) titin is resistant to extraction with Triton X-100 both during and immediately after its synthesis. These observations suggest that newly synthesized titin molecules are stable proteins that rapidly associate with the cytoskeleton of developing myotubes.

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