Z-discs were isolated from Lethocerus (waterbug) flight muscle by removing the contractile proteins from myofibrils with a solution of high ionic strength. Sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS)/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis confirmed a previous report that major Z-disc proteins had subunit mol.wts of 200 000, 180 000, 105 000, 95 000, 42 000 and 35 000. A protein of subunit mol.wt 25 000 was found in once-washed Z-discs but was degraded or was removed by successive washes. In addition, a protein of high molecular weight (less than 300 000) was found in Z-discs. Proteins of subunit mol.wts. 42 000, 35 000 and 25 000 were individually sliced from SDS/polyacrylamide gels and eluted. Amino acid analysis showed that the 35 000-subunit-mol.wt. protein was not, as was previously suggested, tropomyosin, but was a distinct Z-disc protein rich in proline. Calculations based on the amino acid analysis showed that this protein contained substantial hydrophobic regions. Preliminary investigations into the isoelectric point and a method of isolation of the 35 000-subunit-mol.wt. Z-disc protein are described. This protein was found in slices cut from SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoretograms of whole myofibrils. The protein of 42 000 subunit mol.wt. was shown by amino acid analysis to be actin and the 25 000-subunit-mol.wt. Z-disc protein was proline-rich.

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