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Am J Physiol. 1992 Nov;263(5 Pt 2):H1560-6.

Translation of heart preproenkephalin mRNA and secretion of enkephalin peptides from cultured cardiac myocytes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans 70112.


Rat ventricular cardiac muscle has previously been shown to contain exceptionally high levels of preproenkephalin mRNA (ppEnk mRNA). We have recently determined that the level of ppEnk mRNA is developmentally and hormonally regulated in rat ventricular cardiac muscle tissue and in cultured myocytes (J. P. Springhorn and W. C. Claycomb. Biochem. J. 258: 73-77, 1989). We demonstrate in the current study that heart ppEnk mRNA is structurally identical at the 5' end to brain ppEnk mRNA using a ribonuclease protection assay and that heart ppEnk mRNA can be translated in vitro using a rabbit reticulocyte lysate system. In vitro synthesized preproenkephalin peptides were immunoprecipitated with a polyclonal antibody directed to the carboxy-terminal seven amino acids of preproenkephalin. We have also established by radioimmunoassay that enkephalin-containing peptides are secreted from cultured neonatal and adult rat ventricular cardiac muscle cells. This secretion is linear with respect to time and can be stimulated by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP). It was determined by column chromatography that cAMP induced neonatal rat ventricular cardiac muscle cells to secrete Met5-enkephalin-Arg6-Phe7, whereas PMA plus 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine induced adult rat ventricular cardiac muscle cells to secrete Met5-enkephalin. These studies establish that ventricular heart muscle ppEnk mRNA can be translated and that enkephalin peptides are secreted from ventricular cardiac muscle cells.

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