Hypertrophy was produced in the anterior latissimus dorsi (ALD) muscle of 5-wk-old chickens by application of a load to the humerus. After 4 wk, hypertrophied ALD muscles were greater than 2.5 times heavier than contralateral control ALD muscles. Two isomyosins are distinguishable in normal ALD muscles by their different electrophoretic mobilities. It is shown here that the faster migrating SM-1 isomyosin decreases in abundance with age and that the application of an overload enhances both the rate and extent of this process. Monoclonal antibodies were selected by an immunotransfer technique that were specific for the heavy chains associated with either SM-1 or SM-2, or cross-reacted with both isoforms. The cellular distribution of the SM-1 and SM-2 isomyosins was analyzed by immunofluorescent technique using these antibodies. Anti-SM-1 and anti-SM-2 antibodies reacted with separate populations of cells, whereas the third antibody reacted with all myocytes in the normal ALD muscle. These data suggest that there is an exclusive cellular distribution of myosin heavy chains associated with SM-1 and SM-2 proteins. Immunofluorescent analysis of hypertrophied muscle showed the anti-SM-2-specific antibody reacting with all myocytes, whereas the anti-SM-1-specific antibody reacted with none. This is consistent with the elimination of the SM-1 isoform in hypertrophied muscles.

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