1. Combined histochemical and biochemical single-fibre analyses [Staron & Pette (1987) Biochem. J. 243, 687-693], were used to investigate the rabbit tibialis-anterior fibre population. 2. This muscle is composed of four histochemically defined fibre types (I, IIC, IIA and IIB). 3. Type I fibres contain slow myosin light chains LC1s and LC2 and the slow myosin heavy chain HCI, and types IIA and IIB contain the fast myosin light chains LC1f, LC2f and LC3f and the fast heavy chains HCIIa and HCIIb respectively. 4. A small fraction of fibres (IIAB), histochemically intermediate between types IIA and IIB, contain the fast light myosin chains but display a coexistence of HCIIa and HCIIb. 5. Similarly to the soleus muscle, C fibres in the tibialis anterior muscle contain both fast and slow myosin light chains and heavy chains. The IIC fibres show a predominance of the fast forms and the IC fibres (histochemically intermediate between types I and IIC) a predominance of the slow forms. 6. A total of 60 theoretical isomyosins can be derived from these findings on the distribution of fast and slow myosin light and heavy chains in the fibres of rabbit tibialis anterior muscle.

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