Regulation of nuclear and mitochondrial gene expression by contractile activity in skeletal muscle.
Increased contractile activity of skeletal muscle augments the volume fraction and enzymatic capacity of mitochondria and suppresses the enzymatic capacity of several cytoplasmic enzymes of glycolysis. To examine the biochemical mechanisms underlying these effects, we measured the concentrations of cytochrome b mRNA and aldolase A mRNA in tibialis anterior muscles of adult rabbits that had been stimulated via the motor nerve to contract continuously at 10 Hz for 5 or 21 days; these were compared with the corresponding levels in the unstimulated limbs of the same animals. After 21 days of stimulation aldolase mRNA had fallen to one-fourth of control levels, while cytochrome b mRNA had increased by 5-fold. A reduction in aldolase mRNA was already evident after only 5 days of stimulation, whereas the level of cytochrome b mRNA was not elevated at this stage. Mitochondrial DNA was unchanged after 5 days but had increased by 4-fold after 21 days. We conclude that contractile activity in skeletal muscle produces reciprocal changes in the expression of these two genes at a transcriptional level but via different regulatory mechanisms. Enhancement of the expression of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene appears to be proportional to the increase in its copy number and may not, therefore, depend upon changes in transcriptional or translational efficiency. The reduction in aldolase A mRNA occurs at an earlier stage in the response to contractile activity and is probably mediated by a reduced transcriptional efficiency.
Williams, RS; Salmons, S; Newsholme, EA; Kaufman, RE; Mellor, J
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