Myosin isoforms A and B are located at the surface of the central and polar regions, respectively, of thick filaments in body muscle cells of Caenorhabditis elegans, whereas paramyosin and a distinct core structure comprise the backbones of these filaments. Thick filaments and related structures were isolated from nematode mutants that have altered thick filament protein compositions. These mutant filaments and their complexes with specific antibodies were studied by electron microscopy to determine the distribution of the two myosins. The compartmentation of the two myosin isoforms in body wall muscle thick filaments depends not only upon the intrinsic properties of the myosins but their interactions with other components such as paramyosin and their relative quantities determined by synthesis.

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