We have investigated whether living muscle and nonmuscle cells can discriminate between microinjected muscle and nonmuscle actins. Muscle actin purified from rabbit back and leg muscles and labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate, and nonmuscle actin purified from lamb brain and labeled with lissamine rhodamine B sulfonyl chloride, were co-injected into chick embryonic cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts. When fluorescence images of the two actins were compared using filter sets selective for either fluorescein isothiocyanate or lissamine rhodamine B sulfonyl chloride, essentially identical patterns of distribution were detected in both muscle and nonmuscle cells. In particular, we found no structure that, at this level of resolution, shows preferential binding of muscle or nonmuscle actin. In fibroblasts, both actins are associated primarily with stress fibers and ruffles. In myocytes, both actins are localized in sarcomeres. In addition, the distribution of structures containing microinjected actins is similar to that of structure containing endogenous F-actin, as revealed by staining with fluorescent phalloidin or phallacidin. Our results suggest that, at least under these experimental conditions, actin-binding sites in muscle and nonmuscle cells do not discriminate among different forms of actins.

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