Sarcoglycan and integrin localization in normal human skeletal muscle: a confocal laser scanning microscope study

Eur J Histochem. Jul-Sep 2004;48(3):245-52.


Many studies have been performed on the sarcoglycan sub-complex and a7B and b1D integrins, but their distribution and localization patterns along the non-junctional sarcolemma are still not clear. We have carried out an indirect immunofluorescence study on surgical biopsies of normal human skeletal muscle, performing double localization reactions with antibodies to sarcoglycans, integrins and sarcomeric actin. Our results indicate that the tested proteins colocalize with each other. In a few cases, a-sarcoglycan does not colocalize with the other sarcoglycans and integrins. We also demonstrated, by employing antibodies to all the tested proteins, that these proteins can be localized to regions of the sarcolemma corresponding either to the I-band or A-band. Our results seem to confirm the hypothesis of a correlation between the region of the sarcolemma occupied by costameric proteins and the metabolic type (fast or slow) of muscle fibers. On this basis, we suggest that slow fibers are characterized by localization of costameric proteins to I-bands, while fast fibers are characterized by localization of costameric proteins to A-bands. The results open a new line of research in understanding interactions between the components of the DGC and vinculin-talin-integrin complexes in the context of different fiber types. Moreover, the same results may be extended to skeletal muscle fibers affected by neuromuscular diseases to detect possible structural alterations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Sarcoglycans / metabolism*


  • Integrins
  • Sarcoglycans