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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1993 Oct;22(4 Suppl A):30A-33A.

The molecular biology of heart failure.

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INSERM Unité 127, Hôpital Lariboisière, Paris, France.


In the mammalian heart, the development of cardiac hypertrophy is a common feature that normally precedes all forms of heart failure. This adaptive process involves molecular changes in the myocardium, including the altered expression of several genes encoding proteins for contraction and relaxation. The expression of myosin heavy chain (MHC) and sarcomeric alpha-actin messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) changes qualitatively during cardiac hypertrophy; however, their accumulations are not coordinated. Skeletal alpha-actin transcripts accumulate throughout the ventricles and earlier than beta-MHC transcripts, which accumulate primarily around large coronary vessels. Skeletal alpha-actin transcripts also "hyperaccumulate" relative to cardiac alpha-actin mRNA, whose expression does not change. Expression of MHC isomRNA shows an inverse relation; as beta-MHC accumulates, alpha-MHC decreases in abundance. From nuclear run-on assays, we present evidence that the accumulation of these gene products is at least under partial transcriptional control with developmental growth, suggesting that those changes that occur with hypertrophy and heart failure may be primarily transcriptionally regulated. The expression of the mRNA for the calcium-adenosine triphosphate (Ca(2+)-ATPase) of the sarcoplasmic reticulum changes quantitatively with cardiac hypertrophy without the reexpression of a different isoform. The relative mRNA and protein concentrations for this protein diminish with both cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, a change that may partially explain the delayed relaxation rates seen in hypertrophied and failing hearts.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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