We elicited antibodies in rabbits to actin purified from body wall muscle of the marine mollusc, Aplysia californica. We found that this antiactin has an unusual specificity: in addition to reacting with the immunogen, it recognizes cytoplasmic vertebrate actins but not myofibrillar actin. Radioimmunoassay showed little or no cross-reaction with actin purified from either chicken gizzard or rabbit skeletal muscle. Immunocytochemical studies with human fibroblasts and L6 myoblasts revealed intense staining of typical cytoplasmic cables. Myofibrils were not stained after treatment of human and frog skeletal muscle with the antibody, although the distribution of immunofluorescence suggested that cytoplasmic actin is associated with membrane systems in the muscle fiber. The antibody may therefore be especially suited for studying the localization of cytoplasmic actin in skeletal muscle cells even in the presence of a great excess of the myofibrillar form.

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