Molecular mechanisms for changes in hepatic protein synthesis induced by schistosomiasis infection in mice

Mark A Zern, Mohamed A. Saber, David A. Shafritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni and littermate controls were evaluated serially for 12 weeks. Infected mice gained weight at the same rate as controls, but starting with the sixth week their livers became enlarged with granulomas and fibrous tissue, and they developed hypoalbuminemia. To evaluate the regulation of the albumin and type I collagen gene expression, total RNA was isolated from infected and control mice and translated in an mRNA-dependent rabbit reticulocyte lysate system. Protein synthesis was decreased 1.5-3-fold with RNA from infected vs. control liver. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the cell-free products showed a reduction in albumin but an increase in type I procollagen synthesis in infected mice. Immunoprecipitation of the cell-free productconfirmed that albumin synthesis was reduced in greater proportion than other liver proteins in schistosome-infected mice. Hybridization of RNA from infected liver with cloned mouse albumin cDNA (pmalb-2) demonstrated a reduction in albumin mRNA to 37% of control, while hybridization with a chick type I pro α2 collagen cDNA probe (pCg-45) revealed increased procollagen mRNA in infected liver beginning at 6 weeks postinfection. These results suggest that in murine schistosomiasis a reduction in biologically active albumin mRNA results in decreased albumin synthesis and may be responsible in part for hypoalbuminemia. In addition, increased collagen mRNA is associated with increased collagen synthesis during hepatic fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6072-6077
Number of pages6
Issue number26
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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