The formation of myofibrils in the developing leg muscle of the 12-day chick embryo was studied by electron microscopy. Myofilaments of two varieties, thick (160–170 A in diameter) and thin (60–70 A in diameter), which have been designated myosin and actin filaments, respectively, on the basis of their similarity to natural and synthetic myosin and actin filaments, appear in the cytoplasm of developing muscle cells. There is a greater than 7:1 ratio of thin to thick filaments in these young myofibers. The free myofilaments become aligned in the long axis of the cells, predominantly in subsarcolemmal locations, and aggregate into hexagonally packed arrays of filaments. The presence of Z band material or M band cross-bridges do not appear to be essential for the formation or spacing of these aggregates of filaments. Formation of the Z band lattices occurs coincidentally with the back-to-back apposition of thin filaments. An hypothesis concerning myofibril growth, based on the self-assembly characteristics of the filaments, is presented.
Article| March 01 1967
AN ELECTRON MICROSCOPE STUDY OF MYOFIBRIL FORMATION IN EMBRYONIC CHICK SKELETAL MUSCLE
Donald A. Fischman
From the Department of Anatomy, Cornell University Medical College, New York, and Strangeways Research Laboratory, Cambridge, England.
The author's present address is the Department of Zoology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Received: June 20 1966
Online Issn: 1540-8140
Print Issn: 0021-9525
Copyright © 1967 by The Rockefeller University Press
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Donald A. Fischman; AN ELECTRON MICROSCOPE STUDY OF MYOFIBRIL FORMATION IN EMBRYONIC CHICK SKELETAL MUSCLE . J Cell Biol 1 March 1967; 32 (3): 557–575. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.32.3.557
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