Adaptation of skeletal muscle to increased contractile activity. Expression nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins.
An increase in mitochondrial biogenesis in mammalian cells requires a coordinated increase in the expression of a number of nuclear genes that encode mitochondrial proteins. To examine the regulatory mechanisms involved, we used specific anti-sense RNA probes to estimate the cellular concentrations of mRNA transcripts of two such nuclear genes in rabbit tibialis anterior muscles subjected in vivo to 10-21 days of indirect electrical stimulation. The unstimulated contralateral muscle in the same animals provided a base line for comparison. Change in expression of mitochondrial proteins was assessed in terms of the enzymatic capacity of citrate synthase and cytochrome oxidase, which increased 2.1-fold after 10 days and 5.5- and 4.1-fold, respectively, after 21 days of stimulation. As a proportion of total cellular RNA, messenger RNA encoding subunit beta of F1-ATPase increased 2.2-fold over control levels after 10 days and 2.3-fold after 21 days; mRNA encoding subunit VIC of cytochrome oxidase increased 1.3-fold and 1.9-fold over control levels after stimulation for 10 and 21 days, respectively. These changes were not attributable to nonspecific effects of stimulation on all mRNA transcripts, since aldolase A mRNA decreased to 26% of control levels after 21 days of stimulation. Furthermore, mRNA transcripts from these nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins did not increase to the same extent as mRNA transcripts of mitochondrial genes such as cytochrome b, which increased 5.9-fold after 21 days of stimulation. We conclude that the increase in mitochondrial biogenesis induced by electrical stimulation of skeletal muscle is supported by pretranslational regulation of expression of nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins. There are, however, indications that translational or post-translational regulatory events may also be involved.
Williams, RS; Garcia-Moll, M; Mellor, J; Salmons, S; Harlan, W
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