Published in Volume
88, Issue 5
(November 1991)J Clin Invest.
1991, The American Society for
The vascular smooth muscle alpha-actin gene is reactivated during cardiac hypertrophy provoked by load.
Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.
Published November 1991
Cardiac hypertrophy triggered by mechanical load possesses features in common with growth factor signal transduction. A hemodynamic load provokes rapid expression of the growth factor-inducible nuclear oncogene, c-fos, and certain peptide growth factors specifically stimulate the "fetal" cardiac genes associated with hypertrophy, even in the absence of load. These include the gene encoding vascular smooth muscle alpha-actin, the earliest alpha-actin expressed during cardiac myogenesis; however, it is not known whether reactivation of the smooth muscle alpha-actin gene occurs in ventricular hypertrophy. We therefore investigated myocardial expression of the smooth muscle alpha-actin gene after hemodynamic overload. Smooth muscle alpha-actin mRNA was discernible 24 h after coarctation and was persistently expressed for up to 30 d. In hypertrophied hearts, the prevalence of smooth muscle alpha-actin gene induction was 0.909, versus 0.545 for skeletal muscle alpha-actin (P less than 0.05). Ventricular mass after 2 d or more of aortic constriction was more highly correlated with smooth muscle alpha-actin gene activation (r = 0.852; P = 0.0001) than with skeletal muscle alpha-actin (r = 0.532; P = 0.009); P less than 0.0005 for the difference in the correlation coefficients. Thus, smooth muscle alpha-actin is a molecular marker of the presence and extent of pressure-overload hypertrophy, whose correlation with cardiac growth at least equals that of skeletal alpha-actin. Induction of smooth muscle alpha-actin was delayed and sustained after aortic constriction, whereas the nuclear oncogenes c-jun and junB were expressed rapidly and transiently, providing potential dimerization partners for transcriptional control by c-fos.
Click on an image below to see the page. View
PDF of the complete article