A rat albumin cDNA probe (pBR alb 149) was developed in order to investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for changes in hepatic protein synthesis after chronic administration of ethanol to rats. Rats fed a diet for up to 1 year in which 36% of calories were from ethanol, developed fatty livers but not cirrhosis. Cell-free protein synthesis with liver membrane-bound polysomes of ethanol-fed rats was increased as compared to control membrane-bound polysomes, whereas protein synthesis with free polysomes was unchanged. Total RNA extracted from liver membrane-bound polysomes and translated in a rabbit reticulocyte mRNA-dependent system showed a marked increase in albumin synthesis in the ethanol-fed group. Analysis of RNA molecules separated according to molecular weight by gel electrophoresis and hybridized with recombinant-cloned albumin cDNA demonstrated an increase in full-sized albumin mRNA species in ethanol-fed animals. Therefore, chronic ethanol administration appears to increase albumin synthesis by increasing the steady-state level of biologically active albumin RNA in liver membrane-bound polysomes. Despite development of fatty liver, the protein synthesis machinery functions normally.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 1983|
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