RNA subunit of mitochondrial RNA-processing enzyme is induced by contractile activity in striated muscle.
A small RNA encoded within the nucleus of yeast and mammalian cells is an essential subunit of a mitochondrial RNA-processing endonuclease (RNase MRP) that generates primers for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) replication. We examined expression of MRP-RNA in specialized subtypes of mammalian striated muscles that differ markedly in respiratory activity and in muscles subjected to chronic stimulation via the motor nerve, a potent stimulus to mitochondrial biogenesis. MRP-RNA was more abundant in mitochondria-rich cardiac and slow-twitch skeletal muscles than in glycolytic fast-twitch skeletal muscles. Forced contractile activity resulting from nerve stimulation increased expression of MRP-RNA by 3.5-fold within the first day and by 14-fold within 14 days. Changes in abundance of MRP-RNA preceded but otherwise occurred in parallel to changes in specific activity of citrate synthase, a marker of mitochondrial proliferation shown previously to correlate with mtDNA copy number in this model. Another small RNA (U1) also was induced transiently (1-3 days) by nerve stimulation, but such changes were not sustained and were of less magnitude (< 4-fold) than changes in MRP-RNA. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that MRP-RNA may have a regulatory function with respect to mtDNA replication and mitochondrial biogenesis.
Ordway, GA; Li, K; Hand, GA; Williams, RS
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