mAbs have been raised against different epitopes on the protein product of the DMDL gene, which is an autosomal homologue of the X-linked DMD gene for dystrophin. These antibodies provide direct evidence that DMDL protein is localized near acetylcholine receptors at neuromuscular junctions in normal and mdx mouse intercostal muscle. The primary location in tissues other than skeletal muscle is smooth muscle, especially in the vascular system, which may account for the wide tissue distribution previously demonstrated by Western blotting. The DMDL protein was undetectable in the nonjunctional sarcolemma of normal human muscle, but was observed in nonjunctional sarcolemma of Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients, where dystrophin itself is absent or greatly reduced. The expression of DMDL protein is not restricted to smooth and skeletal muscle, however, since relatively large amounts are present in transformed brain cell lines of both glial and Schwann cell origin. This contrasts with the low levels of DMDL protein in adult brain tissue.

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