Inhibitor of cytochrome c messenger RNA-protein interaction in stimulated rat skeletal muscle

Zhen Yan, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The purpose of this work was to examine the possible mechanisms for the regulation of cytochrome c gene expression in response to increased contractile activity in rat skeletal muscle. The working hypothesis was that increased contractile activity enhances cytochrome c gene expression through a cis-element. A 110% increase in cytochrome c mRNA concentration was observed in tibialis anterior (TA) muscle after 9 days of chronic stimulation. Similar difference (120%) exists between soleus (SO) muscle of higher contractile activity and white vastus lateralis (WV) muscle of lower contractile activity. These results suggest that the endogenous cytochrome c gene expression is regulated by contractile activity. Cytochrome c-reporter genes were injected into skeletal muscles to identify the cis-element that is responsible for the regulation. Although the data was inconclusive, part of it suggested the importance of the 3$\sp\prime$-untranslated region (3$\sp\prime$-UTR) in mediating the response to increased contractile activity. RNA gel mobility shift (GMSA) and ultraviolet (UV) cross-linking assays revealed specific RNA-protein interaction in a 50-nucleotide region of the 3$\sp\prime$-UTR in unstimulated TA muscle. Computer analysis predicted a stem-loop structure of 17 nucleotides, which provides a structural basis for RNA-protein interaction. These 17 nucleotides are 100% conserved among rat, mouse and human cytochrome c genes and their 13 pseudogenes, suggesting a functional role for this region. The RNA-protein interaction was significantly less in highly active SO muscle than in inactive WV muscle and was dramatically decreased in stimulated TA muscle due to a protein inhibitor(s) associated with ribosome. It is possible that cytochrome c mRNAs undergoing translation are subject to a compartmentalized regulatory influence. The conclusion from these results is that increases in contractile activity induce or activate a protein inhibitor(s) associated with ribosome in rat skeletal muscle. The inhibitor decreases RNA-protein interaction in the 3$\sp\prime$-UTR of cytochrome c mRNA, which may result in increased mRNA stability and/or translation.

Subject Area

Anatomy & physiology|Animals|Cellular biology|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Yan, Zhen, "Inhibitor of cytochrome c messenger RNA-protein interaction in stimulated rat skeletal muscle" (1995). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9532533.