Over 40% of adults in the United States are considered obese. Obesity is known to cause abnormal metabolic effects and lead to other negative health consequences. Interestingly, differences in metabolism and contractile performance between obese and healthy weight individuals are associated with differences in skeletal muscle fiber type composition between these groups. Each fiber type is characterized by unique metabolic and contractile properties, which are largely determined by the myosin heavy chain isoform (MHC) or isoform combination that the fiber expresses. In previous studies, SDS-PAGE single fiber analysis has been utilized as a method to determine MHC isoform distribution and single fiber type distribution in skeletal muscle. Herein, a methodological approach to analyze MHC isoform and fiber type distribution in skeletal muscle was fine-tuned for use in human and rodent studies. In the future, this revised methodology will be implemented to evaluate the effects of obesity and exercise on the phenotypic fiber type composition of skeletal muscle.
- Analyzing Myosin Heavy Chain Isoform Distribution in Skeletal Muscle: a methodological approach