Prosomes form sarcomere-like banding patterns in skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle cells

Exp Cell Res. 2001 May 15;266(1):193-200. doi: 10.1006/excr.2001.5212.


Prosomes (20S proteasomes) constitute the catalytic core of the 26S proteasomes, but were first observed as factors associated with unstranslated mRNA. Recently, their RNase activity was discovered together with the fact that their proteolytic function is dispensable in adapted human cells. By indirect immunofluorescence using monoclonal antibodies, we demonstrate as a general phenomenon, regular intercalation of specific types of prosomes into the sarcomeric structure of all types of striated muscle. Surprisingly, in cultured smooth muscle cells without sarcomeric organization, some prosomes also form regular striations in extended projections of cytoplasmic regions. The significance of their sarcomeric distribution is not understood as yet, but the pattern we observe is very similar to that shown by others for muscle-specific mRNAs, identified by in situ hybridization, and that of the cognate proteins. A role of prosomes in the cotranslational assembly of the myofibrillar proteins is suggested, since prosomes organize into pseudo-sarcomeric patterns prior to formation de novo of the actin-myosin arrangement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured / cytology
  • Cells, Cultured / metabolism
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / metabolism*
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases / ultrastructure
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Male
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism*
  • Multienzyme Complexes / ultrastructure
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism
  • Muscle Proteins / ultrastructure
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / embryology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Smooth / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth / embryology*
  • Muscle, Smooth / metabolism
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sarcomeres / metabolism*
  • Sarcomeres / ultrastructure


  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Cysteine Endopeptidases
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex