Disproportionate reduction of actin synthesis in hearts of starved rats

A. F. Clark, K. Wildenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We examined the synthesis of proteins in rat myocardium after starvation. Rates of total protein synthesis in myofibrillar and nonmyofibrillar fractions of myocardium of starved animals were reduced similarly (to 70-80% of the rates in hearts of fed animals, p < 0.002), but rates of synthesis of some individual proteins were affected discoordinately. Radiolabeled proteins from atrial and ventricular explants, separated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, revealed that starvation for 2 days reduced the rate of cardiac actin synthesis to 26-38% of control levels, while the rate of myosin heavy chain synthesis in the same hearts was only moderately reduced (74-80% of control levels). This starvation-induced reduction in actin synthesis could be accounted for at least in part by disproportionately decreased levels of actin mRNA in starved hearts, as revealed by Northern blot hybridization and by in vitro translation analysis. The dramatic decrease in cardiac actin synthesis was rapidly reversible, and actin synthesis returned to normal after a single day of refeeding. The selective reduction of actin synthesis after starvation was specific for the heart: rates of myosin heavy chain and actin synthesis in skeletal muscles (soleus and extensor digitorum longus) were coordinately reduced in response to starvation. To our knowledge, this is the first example of such dramatic discoordinate regulation of myofibrillar protein synthesis in response to a physiological stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13168-13172
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number28
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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