During chicken skeletal myogenesis in vitro, the actin-binding protein filamin is present at first in association with actin filament bundles both in myoblasts and in myotubes early after fusion. Later in mature myotubes it is found in association with myofibril Z disks. These two associations of filamin are separated by a period of several days, during which the protein is absent from the cytoplasm of differentiating myotubes (Gomer, R., and E. Lazarides, 1981, Cell, 23:524-532). To characterize the two classes of filamin polypeptides we have compared, by two-dimensional peptide mapping, 125I-labeled filamin immunoprecipitated from myoblasts and fibroblasts to filamin immunoprecipitated from mature myotubes and adult skeletal myofibrils. Myoblast filamin is highly homologous to fibroblast and purified chicken gizzard filamins. Mature myotube and adult myofibril filamins are highly homologous but exhibit extensive peptide differences with respect to the other three classes of filamin. Comparison of peptide maps from immunoprecipitated 35S-methionine-labeled filamins also shows that fibroblast and myoblast filamins are highly homologous but show substantial peptide differences with respect to mature myotube filamin. Filamins from both mature myotubes and skeletal myofibrils exhibit a slightly higher electrophoretic mobility than gizzard, fibroblast, and myoblast filamins. Short pulse-labeling studies show that mature myotube filamin is synthesized as a lower molecular weight variant and is not derived from a higher molecular weight precursor. These results suggest that myoblast and mature myotube filamins are distinct gene products and that during skeletal myogenesis in vitro one class of filamin polypeptides is replaced by a new class of filamin polypeptides, and that the latter is maintained into adulthood.

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