Myofibrillar protein isoform expression is correlated with synaptic efficacy in slow fibres of the claw and leg opener muscles of crayfish and lobster

Donald L. Mykles, Scott Medler, Annette Koenders, Robin Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


In the crayfish and lobster opener neuromuscular preparations of the walking legs and claws, there are regional differences in synaptic transmission even though the entire muscle is innervated by a single excitatory tonic motor neuron. The innervation of the proximal fibres produced larger excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) than those of the central fibres. The amplitudes of the EPSPs in the distal fibres were intermediate between those of the proximal and central regions. These differences in EPSP amplitudes were correlated with differences in short-term facilitation between the three regions. When given a 10- or 20-pulse train of stimuli, the proximal fibres showed greater short-term facilitation initially, often followed by a maximization of short-term facilitation towards the end of a train. In contrast, the central fibres showed a linear increase in short-term facilitation throughout a stimulus train. The distal fibres showed intermediate short-term facilitation compared with the other two regions. Analysis of myofibrillar isoforms showed that levels of troponin-T1 (TnT1), a 55kDa isoform expressed in slow-tonic (S2) fibres, were correlated with synaptic properties. Proximal fibres had the highest levels of TnT1, with lower levels in distal fibres; central fibres lacked TnT1, which is characteristic of slow-twitch (S1) fibres. In addition, differences in troponin-I isoforms correlated with TnT1 levels between the proximal, central and distal regions. The correlation between slow fibre phenotype and strength of innervation suggests a relationship between synaptic structure and expression of troponin isoforms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-522
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Arthropoda
  • Crayfish
  • Crustacea
  • Homarus americanus
  • Innervation
  • Isoform
  • Lobster
  • Muscle
  • Myofibrillar protein
  • Neuromuscular junction
  • Procambarus clarkii
  • Synapse
  • Troponin
  • Troponin-I
  • Troponin-T

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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