Troponin I gene expression during human cardiac development and in end-stage heart failure.
Recent reports have demonstrated the presence of two isoforms of troponin I in the human fetal heart, namely, cardiac troponin I and slow skeletal muscle troponin I. Structural and physiological considerations indicate that these isoforms would confer differing contractile properties on the myocardium, particularly on the phosphorylation-mediated regulation of contractility by adrenergic agonists. We have investigated the developmental expression of these isoforms in the human heart from 9 weeks of gestation to 9 months of postnatal life, using Western blots revealed with troponin I antibodies to detect troponin protein isoforms and Northern blots to detect the corresponding mRNAs. The results show the following: 1) Slow skeletal muscle troponin I is the predominant isoform throughout fetal life. 2) After birth, the slow skeletal isoform is lost, with cardiac troponin I being the only isoform detectable by 9 months of postnatal development. 3) The protein isoforms and their corresponding mRNAs follow the same pattern of accumulation, suggesting that the transition in troponin expression is regulated at the level of gene transcription. The developmental transition in troponin I isoform content has implications for contractility of the fetal and postnatal myocardium. We further analyzed right and left ventricular muscle samples from 17 hearts in end-stage heart failure resulting from pulmonary hypertension, ischemic heart disease, or dilated cardiomyopathy. Cardiac troponin I mRNA remained abundant in each case, and slow skeletal muscle troponin I mRNA was not detectable in any of sample. We conclude that alterations in troponin I isoform content do not therefore contribute to the altered contractile characteristics of the adult failing ventricle.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association