Quantitation and immunocytochemical localization of ubiquitin conjugates within rat red and white skeletal muscles
ABSTRACT Solid-phase immunochemical methods were employed to probe the dynamics of ubiquitin pools within selected rat skeletal muscles. The total ubiquitin content of red muscles was greater than that of white muscles, even though the fractional conjugation was similar for both types of muscles. The specificity for conjugated ubiquitin in solid-phase applications, previously demonstrated for an affinity-purified antibody against SDS-denatured ubiquitin, was retained when used as a probe for ubiquitin-protein adducts in tissue sections. Immunohistochemical localization revealed that differences in ubiquitin pools derived from the relative content of red (oxidative) vs white (glycolytic) fibers, with the former exhibiting a higher content of ubiquitin conjugates. Subsequent immunogold labeling demonstrated statistically significant enhanced localization of ubiquitin conjugates to the Z-lines in both red and white muscle fiber types.