Distribution of vinculin in the Z‐disk of striated muscle: Analysis by laser scanning confocal microscopy

Louis Terracio, David G. Simpson, Lula Hilenski, Wayne Carver, Robert S. Decker, Nancy Vinson, Thomas K. Borg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vinculin is a major cytoskeletal component in striated muscle, where it has been reported to form a rib‐like structure between the cell membrane and the Z‐disk termed a costamere. This arrangement of vinculin has been purported to be involved in the alignment of the myofibrils. However, the three‐dimensional arrangement of vinculin in relation to the Z‐disk of the myofibril was not known. In the present study, we examined the distribution of vinculin in striated muscle with monospecific antibodies using immunofluorescence and laser scanning confocal microscopy. Isolated cardiac and skeletal muscle cells from a variety of species, tissue sections, and neonatal myocytes with developing myofibrils were examined. Optical sectioning in the X‐Y and X‐Z planes demonstrated that vinculin immunoreactivity was heaviest at the periphery of the cell; however, the immunoreactivity was also distributed within the Z‐disk although at a relatively reduced level. This distribution is potentially significant in understanding the physiological significance of vinculin in striated muscle function and in myofi‐brillogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-87
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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