Sarcoglycan subcomplex in normal and pathological human muscle fibers

Eur J Histochem. 2007:51 Suppl 1:29-33.


Sarcoglycans are a sub-complex of transmembrane proteins which are part of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC). They are expressed above all in the skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle. Although numerous studies have been conducted on the sarcoglycan sub-complex in skeletal and cardiac muscle, the manner of distribution and localization of these proteins along the non-junctional sarcolemma is still not clear. Furthermore, there are unclear data about the actual role of sarcoglycans in human skeletal muscle affected by sarcoglycanopathies. In our studies on human skeletal muscle, normal and pathological, we determined the localization, distribution and interaction of these glycoproteins. Our results, on normal human skeletal muscle, showed that the sarcoglycans can be localized both in the region of the sarcolemma over the I band and over the A band, hypothesizing a correlation between regions of the sarcolemma occupied by costameres and the metabolic type of the fibers (slow and fast). Our data on skeletal muscle affected by sarcoglycanopathy confirmed the hypothesis of a bidirectional signaling between sarcoglycans and integrins and the interaction of filamin2 with both sarcoglycans and integrins. In addition, we have recently demonstrated, in smooth muscle, the presence of alpha-SG, in contrast with data of other Authors. Finally, we analyzed the association between contractile activity and quantitative correlation between alpha- and epsilon-SG, in order to better define the arrangement of sarcoglycan subcomplex.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscular Dystrophies, Limb-Girdle / metabolism*
  • Muscular Dystrophies, Limb-Girdle / pathology
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism
  • Sarcoglycans / metabolism*
  • Talin / metabolism
  • Vinculin / metabolism


  • Integrins
  • Protein Subunits
  • Sarcoglycans
  • Talin
  • Vinculin