113 Scopus citations


To study the regulation of nuclear genes which encode mitochondrial enzymes involved in oxidative metabolism, absolute levels of mRNA encoding rat medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) and rat mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase (mMDH) were determined in developing and adult male rat tissues. MCAD mRNA is expressed in a variety of adult male tissues with highest steady state levels in heart, adrenal, and skeletal muscle and lowest levels in brain, lung, and testes. In comparison, steady state levels of mMDH mRNA in adult male rat tissues were similar to those of MCAD mRNA in heart, small intestine, adrenal, and skeletal muscle but markedly different in brain, stomach, and testes. Thus, the steady-state levels of MCAD and mMDH mRNA are highest in adult tissues with high energy requirements. Dot blot analysis of RNA prepared from late fetal, suckling, and weaning rat heart, liver, and brain demonstrated the presence of MCAD and mMDH mRNA during the fetal period in all three tissues. Both MCAD and mMDH mRNA levels increased 2-2.5-fold at birth followed by a decline during the first postnatal week in heart and liver. The patterns of accumulation of these mRNAs in heart and liver during the weaning and early adult periods were also similar, although the absolute levels were significantly different. Brain MCAD mRNA levels were consistently low (<0.1 pg/μg total cellular RNA) throughout the developmental stages. However, brain mMDH mRNA levels exhibited a marked increase during the weaning period, reaching a peak concentration which is higher than the level of mMDH mRNA in heart and liver at any point during development. These results indicate that the level of expression of the nuclear genes encoding MCAD and mMDH is tissue-specific and developmentally regulated. The patterns of MCAD and mMDH mRNA accumulation parallel the changes in energy metabolism which occur during development and among adult tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18921-18925
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
StatePublished - 1989


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