Changes in myosin mRNA and protein expression in denervated rat soleus and tibialis anterior

Kimberly A. Huey, Sue C. Bodine

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47 Scopus citations


Denervation differs from other models of reduced neuromuscular activation due to the absence of a nerve-muscle connection and limited data exists regarding the effects of denervation on myosin heavy chain (MHC) expression. Thus, adult MHC expression (I, IIa, IIx, IIb) was studied in the rat soleus and tibialis anterior (TA) at the mRNA and protein levels 2, 4, 7, 10, 14, and 30 days following sciatic nerve transection. MHC protein content was quantified with SDS/PAGE and mRNA levels with the RNase-protection assay. Control soleus consisted predominately of type I MHC mRNA and protein, however, 4 days after denervation type I MHC mRNA was significantly decreased to 41 ± 8% of control and continued to remain below control values. Soleus IIa mRNA was significantly elevated 7 and 10 days after denervation while IIx mRNA remained relatively constant until 30 days when it increased to 197 ± 23% of control. At the protein level, soleus I MHC significantly decreased to 80% of the total while IIa MHC significantly increased to 20% of the total. At 30 days, IIx MHC protein accounted for 9.4 ± 1.6% of the total soleus MHC protein. In the TA, IIb mRNA was significantly decreased to 57% of control by day 4 and remained significantly decreased for up to a month. TA IIx mRNA was also significantly decreased at 10 and 30 days after denervation. Similar to the soleus, TA IIa mRNA was significantly increased over control 7-14 days after denervation. There were no significant changes in TA MHC protein profile during one month of denervation. In both the soleus and TA, denervation significantly shifted the MHC mRNA profile as early as 4 days following denervation without any corresponding changes at the protein level. Significant mRNA changes without large changes in MHC protein composition continued throughout the denervation period suggesting that the muscle may be prevented from premature functional transitions by mechanisms such as decreased mRNA stability, translational block, or increased turnover of newly synthesized proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 15 1998


  • Adaptation
  • Denervation
  • Myosin heavy chain
  • Ribonuclease-protection assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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