Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy was used to localize microfilament-associated proteins in the brush border of mouse intestinal epithelial cells. As expected, antibodies to actin decorated the microfilaments of the microvilli, giving rise to a very intense fluorescence. By contrast, antibodies to myosin, tropomyosin, filamin, and alpha-actinin did not decorate the microvilli. All these antibodies, however, decorated the terminal web region of the brush border. Myosin, tropomyosin, and alpha-actinin, although present throughout the terminal web, were found to be preferentially located around the periphery of the organelle. Therefore, two classes of microfilamentous structures can be documented in the brush border. First, the highly ordered microfilaments which make up the cores of the microvilli apparently lack the associated proteins. Second, seemingly less-ordered microfilaments are found in the terminal web, in which region the myosin, tropomyosin, filamin and alpha-actinin are located.

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