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J Exp Zool. 1977 Feb;199(2):233-50.

Turnover of cytochrome C in skeletal muscle of green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus, R.) during thermal acclimation.


The concentration of cytochrome c in the skeletal muscle of the green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) increases with decreasing temperature of acclimation: 1.51 +/- 0.09, 1.17 +/- 0.03, and 0.98 +/- 0.07 nanomoles per gram wet weight from muscle of animals acclimated to 5 degrees, 15 degrees, and 25 degrees C, respectively. The roles of synthesis and degradation of cytochrome c during thermal acclimation were investigated by measurement of loss of specific radioactivity from cytochrome c and from total mitochondrial heme protein, and by analysis of the rate of change in concentration of cytochrome c. The radioisotope used was 14C-delta-aminolevulinic acid, a non-reutilizable heme precursor. At 25 degrees C, the half-life of cytochrome c was 7.1 days based on radioactivity measurements and 5.6 days based on change in concentration. Statistical analysis showed no significant difference in half-lives obtained by the two methods. The half-life of total mitochondrial heme protein was determined to be 5.7 days on the basis of radioactivity data, under the same conditions. No significant difference was found between the rate of turnover of the heme protein pool from mitochondria and either measurement for cytochrome c at 25 degrees C. At an acclimation temperature of 5 degrees C, the half-life of cytochrome c from skeletal muscle was 13.7 days based upon changes in concentration. At low acclimation temperature, radioactive label was retained in acid-soluble form by fish for many days, precluding measurement of half-life by this technique. Transfer of fish from 25 degrees to 5 degrees C resulted in a rapid decrease of approximately 40% in rates in synthesis of skeletal muscle cytochrome c, and a concomitant decrease in the degradation rate constant for this molecule of approximately 60%. The disproportionality in temperature-sensitivities of these two processes leads to an approximately 50% net increase in the concentration of cytochrome c during acclimation. In transfer from 5 degrees to 25 degrees C, the converse, rapid readjustments in synthetic and degradative parameters occur, resulting in the observed decrease in cytochrome c content.

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