Purified, repeatedly washed, skeletal muscle myofibrils contain approx. 0.2 U of creatine kinase (CK) activity (equivalent to 2.5 micrograms CK) per milligram dry weight; this firmly bound CK activity is estimated to represent 3-5% of the total cellular CK. It had been shown previously that the myofibrillar CK, which can be quantitatively extracted at low ionic strength and purified to homogeneity, is very similar, if not identical, to the bulk MM-CK. It is shown that the two protein preparations also have the same peptide pattern after cyanogen bromide fractionation and very similar specific activities, confirming their identity. The earlier demonstration that the bound CK is specifically located at the M-lines of isolated myofibrils has been confirmed by immunofluorescence. Antibodies directed against purified MM- and BB-CK were used in the indirect fluorescent antibody technique to study the specificity of myofibril binding sites for different forms of CK. With myofibrils from adult muscle, which has only MM-CK, as well as from early developmental stages in which BB-CK is the predominant isoenzyme, M-type CK was localized exclusively at the M-line, while greater or lesser amounts of B-type CK were found at the Z-line. The data provide strong evidence that the MM-CK at the M-lines in skeletal myofibrils is not adventitiously bound but is rather an integral element in the M-line structure. The amount of CK bound is reasonably consistent with the earlier proposal that the CK molecules might be the transverse M-bridges and appears to be sufficient to regenerate all of the ATP hydrolyzed during muscle contraction.

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