Proliferating cell nuclear antigen in developing and adult rat cardiac muscle cells.
During early development, rat cardiac muscle cells actively proliferate. Shortly after birth, division of cardiac muscle cells ceases, whereas DNA synthesis continues for approximately 2 weeks at a progressively diminishing rate. Little DNA synthesis or cell division occurs in adult cardiocytes. Thus, developing cardiac muscle cells are an ideal system in which to examine the expression of cell cycle-regulated genes during development. We chose to examine proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a gene expressed at the G1/S phase boundary of the cell cycle. Northern blots of RNA from cardiac muscle cells from 18-day-old rat fetuses and from day 0, 5, and 14 neonatal as well as adult rat hearts revealed that the PCNA mRNA was found in cardiac muscle cells from all ages. However, because it was possible that this was a result of fibroblast PCNA gene expression, we used reverse transcription followed by polymerase chain reaction to see if it was possible to detect the message for PCNA in cardiac muscle cells from all ages. Because of the great sensitivity of this technique, RNA was recovered from 25 isolated adult cardiac muscle cells. Polymerase chain reaction amplification products for PCNA produced from the RNA isolated from these cells conclusively demonstrated that mRNA for this gene, which normally is associated with proliferating cells, is expressed in adult cardiac muscle cells that no longer divide. Furthermore, Western blot analysis demonstrated that the PCNA protein was found only in embryonic and neonatal cells and not in adult rat cardiac muscle cells. Therefore, it might be inferred from these data that PCNA might be regulated at the posttranscriptional level in adult cardiac muscle cells.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association