Histidine-rich calcium binding protein (HRC) is a luminal sarcoplasmic reticulum protein abundant in skeletal and cardiac muscle. Using immunofluorescence to examine non-muscle tissues, we now show that HRC is also abundant in the smooth muscle cells lining the walls of small arteries and arterioles. Arterioles that contain only one or two layers of smooth muscle cells are very brightly stained while small muscular arteries demonstrate a lesser degree of immunoreactivity only in cells just adjacent to the lumen of the vessel. In contrast, visceral smooth muscle cells from the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts show no HRC immunofluorescence. We also examined the subcellular distribution of HRC in arteriolar smooth muscle by immunoelectron microscopy. HRC was found in electron-dense vesicles beneath the plasma membrane, in small electron-lucent vesicles and in the nuclear envelope, suggesting a location within a calcium-sequestering compartment. These findings suggest that HRC plays a role in sarcoplasmic reticulum function that is unique to striated and arteriolar smooth muscle.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology