An historical perspective of the discovery of titin filaments –Part 2
In 2017, a Special Issue of Biophysical Reviews was devoted to “Titin and Its Binding Partners. The issue contained a review: “An historical perspective of the discovery of titin filaments” by dos Remedios and Gilmour that was intended to be a history of the discovery of the giant protein titin, previously named connectin. The review took readers back to the earliest discovery of the so-called third filament component of skeletal and cardiac muscle sarcomeres and ended in 1969. Recently, my colleague Shin’ichi Ishiwata gently reminded me of two papers published in 1990 and 1993 that were unwittingly omitted from the original historical perspective. In the first paper (J Cell Biol 110:53–62, 1990), Funatsu et al. examined the elastic filaments in skeletal muscle using a combination of light and electron microscopy, but they also measured resting as well as passive stiffness mechanical measurements to establish that connectin (titin) is responsible for both stiffness and fiber tension. In the second paper (J Cell Biol 120:711–724, 1993), Funatsu et al. used permeabilised cardiac muscle myocytes (from rabbit papillary muscles) and focussed on filament ultrastructure using either freeze-substitution or deep-etched replica methods to visualise connectin/titin filaments in fibers with and without actin and myosin filaments.
KeywordsConnectin filaments Titin filaments Skeletal muscle myocytes Cardiomyocytes Ultrastructure Sarcomeric protein
The author is grateful for the financial assistance of Medical Advances Without Animals for the purchase of a nitrogen vapour tissue freezer. He is also grateful to Dr Shin’ichi Ishiwata for his comments on the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Cristobal G. dos Remedios declares that he has no conflicts of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.
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