In an earlier study connectin, an elastic protein of striated muscle, was found to be associated with "gap filaments" originating from the thick filaments in the myofibril, but it was not clear whether it extends to Z lines or not (Maruyama, K., H. Sawada, S. Kimura, K. Ohashi, H. Higuchi, and Y. Umazume, 1984, J. Cell Biol., 99:1391-1397). In the present immunoelectron microscopic study using polyclonal antibodies against native connectin, we have concluded that the connectin structures are directly linked to Z lines from the thick (myosin) filaments in myofibrils of skinned fibers of frog skeletal muscle. There were five distinct antibody-binding stripes in each half of the A band and two stripes in the A-I junction region. Deposits of antibodies were recognized in I bands and Z lines. We suggest that connectin filaments run alongside the thick filaments, starting from a region approximately 0.15 micron from the center of the A band.

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