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Journal Article

Fiber type diversity in skeletal muscle explored by mass spectrometry-based single fiber proteomics


Murgia,  Marta
Mann, Matthias / Proteomics and Signal Transduction, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Schiaffino, S., Reggiani, C., & Murgia, M. (2020). Fiber type diversity in skeletal muscle explored by mass spectrometry-based single fiber proteomics. Histology and Histopathology, 35(3), 239-246. doi:10.14670/HH-18-170.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-82A0-0
Mammalian skeletal muscles are composed of a variety of muscle fibers with specialized functional properties. Slow fibers are suited for long lasting and low intensity contractile activity, while various subtypes of fast fibers are optimized to produce high force and power even with a significant fatigue. The functional specialization of muscle fibers is based on selective gene expression regulation, which provides each fiber with a specific protein complement. The recent refinement of small-scale sample preparation, combined with the development of mass spectrometers characterized by high sensitivity, sequencing speed and mass accuracy, has allowed the characterization of the proteome of single muscle fibers with an unprecedented resolution. In the last few years, the first studies on the global proteomics of individual fibers of different types have been published. In this short review we discuss the methodological advancements which have opened the way to single fiber proteomics and the discovery power of this approach. We provide examples of how specific features of single fibers can be overlooked when whole muscle or multi-fiber samples are analyzed and can only be detected when a single fiber proteome is analyzed. Thus, novel subtype-specific metabolic features, most prominently mitochondrial specialization of fiber types, have been revealed by single fiber proteomics. In the same way, specific adaptive responses of single fibers to aging or loss of neural input have been detected when single fibers were individually analyzed. We conclude that the fiber type-resolved proteomes represent a powerful tool which can be applied to a variety of physiological and pathological conditions.