Previous studies (Neff et al., 1982, J. Cell. Biol. 95:654-666; Decker et al., 1984. J. Cell. Biol. 99:1388-1404) have described a monoclonal antibody (CSAT Mab) directed against a complex of three integral membrane glycoproteins of 120,000-160,000 mol wt (CSAT antigen [ag]) involved in the cell matrix adhesion of myoblasts and fibroblasts. In localization studies on fibroblasts presented here, CSAT ag has a discrete, well-organized distribution pattern. It co-aligns with portions of stress fibers and is enriched at the periphery of, but not directly beneath vinculin-rich focal contacts. In this last location, it co-distributes with fibronectin, consistent with the suggestion that the CSAT ag participates in the mechanism by which fibroblasts attach to fibronectin. In prefusion myoblasts, which are rapidly detached by CSAT Mab, CSAT ag is distributed diffusely as are vinculin, laminin, and fibronectin. After fusion, myotubes become more difficult to detach with CSAT Mab. The CSAT ag and vinculin are organized in a much more discrete pattern on the myotube surface, becoming enriched at microfilament bundle termini and in lateral lamellae which appear to attach myotubes to the substratum. These results suggest that the organization of CSAT ag-adhesive complexes on the surface of myogenic cells can affect the stability of their adhesive contacts. We conclude from the sum of the studies presented that, in both myogenic and fibroblastic cells, the CSAT ag is localized in sites expected of a surface membrane mediator of cell adhesion to extracelluon of CSAT ag-adhesive complexes on the surface of myogenic cells can affect the stability of their adhesive contacts. We conclude from the sum of the studies presented that, in both myogenic and fibroblastic cells, the CSAT ag is localized in sites expected of a surface membrane mediator of cell adhesion to extracellular matrix. The results from studies that use fibroblasts in particular suggest the involvement of CSAT ag in the adhesion of these cells to fibronectin.

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