Rates of induction of specific translatable messenger RNAs for ovalbumin and avidin by steroid hormones.
In the chick oviduct, injections of estrogen and progesterone induce synthesis of the specific proteins ovalbumin and avidin, respectively. We have studied the rate of induction of the specific messenger RNA molecules for these proteins after a single injection of estrogen or progesterone. The mRNAs were extracted, partially purified, and quantified in vitro in a heterologous protein-synthesizing system. Single injections of estrogen in chicks previously withdrawn from all steroid hormones for 2 weeks led to rapid increases in ovalbumin mRNA with 3 hr, which coincided with increases in the rate of ovalbumin synthesis. Maximal ovalbumin mRNA activity occurred by 18-20 hr. The half-life of the mRNA was estimated to be 8-10 hr and corresponded to the half-life for cessation of intracellular ovalbumin synthesis after a single injection of an estrogen. Similarly, after an injection of progesterone into chicks first treated with estrogen, appearance of avidin mRNA preceded demonstrable accumulation of this specific protein in oviduct cells. The mRNA for avidin was first apparent at 6 hr, and reached maximal concentrations between 18 and 24 hr after injection. These data confirm that both estrogen and progesterone act on oviduct to induce rapid accumulation of specific mRNAs before and coincident with the appearance of the cell-specific induced proteins. The overall results of these experiments are compatible with the hypothesis that the production of mRNA is a rate-limiting step in the steroid hormone-mediated induction of protein synthesis.
Chan, L; Means, AR; O'Malley, BW
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