Isolation and characterization of the surface membranes of fast and slow mammalian skeletal muscle

P. Blaise Smith, Stanley H. Appel

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25 Scopus citations


Fast (extensor digitorum longus) and slow (soleus) rat skeletal muscles served as the source for isolation and biochemical comparison of two distinct surface membrane fractions with properties of the sarcolemma and transverse tubular system. Enriched sarcolemmal membrane from soleus demonstrated a lighter density after sucrose density centrifugation. Sialic acid content was 1.5-fold higher in soleus (62 nmol/mg) than extensor (40 nmol/mg). The specific activity of (Na+ + K+ + Mg2+)-ATPase was similar (1.40 and 1.65 μmol Pi/mg per 5 min) with the soleus enzyme displaying a (1) greater resistance to inhibition by ouabain, and (2) broader ionic ratio ( Na+ K+) requirement than extensor enzyme. The polypeptide and phospholipid composition showed no major differences between the two muscle types. The second surface membrane fraction, tentatively identified as transverse tubule, differed in membrane composition. The major polypeptide of extensor was of 95 000 molecular weight whereas for soleus a Mr = 28 000 species was dominant. Total phospholipid content of soleus was 1.5-fold greater than extensor due mostly to increased levels of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. Endogenous membrane protein kinase for the 28 000 molecular weight polypeptide was found exclusively in this membrane. The reaction conditions were identical for extensor and soleus since both required divalent cations (Ca2+ and Mg2+) and neither was affected by cyclic AMP. Soleus showed a 2-fold higher capacity for phosphate incorporation than extensor. These studies show that surface membrane fractions derived from fast and slow muscles differ in terms of functional and compositional properties. These differences are specific not only for the surface membrane but for the muscle type and may relate to the known physiological differences observed between fast and slow mammalian muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-122
Number of pages14
JournalBBA - Biomembranes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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