Ca++-Mg++-dependent ATPase and calsequestrin, the major intrinsic and extrinsic proteins, respectively, of the sarcoplasmic reticulum, were localized in cryostat sections of adult rat skeletal muscle by immunofluorescent staining and phase-contrast microscopy. Relatively high concentrations of both the ATPase and calsequestrin were found in fast-twitch myofibers while a very low concentration of the ATPase and a moderate concentration of calsequestrin were found in slow-twitch myofibers. These findings are consistent with previous biochemical studies of the isolated sarcoplasmic reticulum of slow-twitch and fast-twitch mammalian muscles. The distribution of the ATPase in muscle fibers is distinctly different from that of calsequestrin. While calsequestrin is present only near the interface between the I- and A-band regions of the sarcomere, the ATPase is found throughout the I-band region as well as in the center of the A-band region. In comparing these results with in situ ultrastructural studies of the distribution of sarcoplasmic reticulum in fast-twitch muscle, it appears that the ATPase is rather uniformly distributed throughout the sarcoplasmic reticulum while calsequestrin is almost exclusively confined to those regions of the membrane system which correspond to terminal cisternae. Fluorescent staining with these antisera was not observed in vascular smooth muscle cells present in the cryostat sections of the mammalian skeletal muscle used in this study.

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