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J Biol Chem. 1995 Oct 27;270(43):25837-44.

Regulation of dihydropyridine and ryanodine receptor gene expression in skeletal muscle. Role of nerve, protein kinase C, and cAMP pathways.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada.


The dihydropyridine (DHP) and ryanodine (RY) receptors play a critical role in depolarization-induced calcium release in skeletal muscle, yet the factors which govern their expression remain unknown. We investigated the roles of electrical activity and trophic factors in the regulation of the genes encoding the alpha 1, alpha 2, and beta subunits of the DHP receptor as well as the RY receptor in rat skeletal muscle in vivo. Muscle paralysis, induced by denervation, had no effect on the DHP receptor mRNA levels while the RY receptor mRNA was decreased. In contrast, chronic superfusion of tetrodotoxin onto the sciatic nerve resulted in a marked increase in mRNA levels and transcriptional activity of both DHP and RY receptor genes. Since nerve can induce changes in second messenger pathways which modulate muscle gene expression, we attempted to identify factors which regulate DHP and RY receptor expression using cultured myotubes. Elevated cAMP levels specifically inhibited the expression of RY receptor mRNA while 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, an activator of protein kinase C, increased the transcripts encoding the RY receptor and the alpha 1 subunit of the DHP receptor. Changes in the level of mRNAs were paralleled by altered receptor numbers. Neither cAMP nor protein kinase C altered transcriptional activity of the DHP and RY receptor genes. These results demonstrate that neural factor(s) regulate DHP and RY receptor mRNA levels in vivo via transcriptional mechanisms while protein kinase C and cAMP can modulate DHP and RY receptor transcript levels by a transcription-independent process.

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