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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2002 May 15;401(2):244-54.

The translation state of differentially expressed mRNAs in the hibernating 13-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus).

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Institute of Biochemistry and Department of Biology, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6.


The translation state of differentially expressed mRNAs were compared in kidney and brown adipose tissue of the hibernating ground squirrel, Spermophilus tridecemlineatus. Polysome analysis revealed a striking disaggregation of polyribosomes during hibernation and the redistribution of Cox4 (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4) and Oct2 (organic cation transporter type 2) transcripts into monosome and mRNP fractions of kidney cytoplasmic extracts. Additionally, OCT2 protein levels decreased in kidney of hibernating animals in line with a strong decrease (85%) in translation rate compared with euthermic kidney. There was no translational depression in brown adipose tissue during hibernation and the H isoform of fatty-acid-binding protein (H-FABP), that is up-regulated during hibernation, was increasingly abundant in the heavy polyribosome fraction isolated from the brown adipose of hibernators. This may indicate the existence of a tissue-specific mechanism for the translational control of a subset of genes that are physiologically relevant to the survival of hibernation.

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