We rapidly and gently isolated thick filaments from scorpion tail muscle by a modification of the technique previously described for isolating Limulus thick filaments. Images of negatively stained filaments appeared to be highly periodic, with a well-preserved myosin cross-bridge array. Optical diffraction patterns of the electron micrograph images were detailed and similar to optical diffraction patterns from Limulus and tarantula thick filaments. Analysis of the optical diffraction patterns and computed Fourier transforms, together with the appearance of the filaments in the micrographs, suggested a model for the filaments in which the myosin cross-bridges were arranged on four helical strands with 12 cross-bridges per turn of each strand, thus giving the observed repeat every third cross-bridge level. Comparison of the scorpion thick filaments with those isolated from the closely related chelicerate arthropods, Limulus and tarantula, revealed that they were remarkably similar in appearance and helical symmetry but different in diameter.

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