TitleSkeletal muscle alpha-actin synthesis is increased pretranslationally in pigs fed the phenethanolamine ractopamine.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsHelferich, WG, Jump, DB, Anderson, DB, Skjaerlund, DM, Merkel, RA, Bergen, WG
Date Published1990 Jun
KeywordsActins, Animals, DNA Probes, Male, Muscles, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Organ Size, Phenethylamines, Protein Biosynthesis, RNA, Messenger, Swine


Ractopamine [1-(4-hydroxyphenyl-2-(1-methyl-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)propylamino)ethanol] enhances protein accretion in skeletal muscle (sm) of pigs. Experiments were conducted to elucidate fractional protein synthesis (FSR) and mRNA abundance for alpha-actin in sm of pigs fed a 16% protein diet containing 20 parts/million ractopamine for 21 days. Pigs were infused for 6 h with [14C]lysine (80 microCi/h.pig); after infusion pigs were killed, and longissimus dorsi muscle samples were obtained for RNA isolation and measurement of [14C]lysine incorporation. FSR was determined in vivo by incorporation of [14C]lysine from the muscle free amino acid pool into purified sm alpha-actin. FSR of sm alpha-actin was 55% greater in ractopamine-treated pigs than in controls. Relative mRNA abundance of alpha-actin was determined by dot blot hybridization of 0.1-0.4 microgram RNA to human sm alpha-actin [32P]cDNA probe. Longissimus dorsi alpha-actin mRNA abundance was 2-fold greater in pigs fed ractopamine. Sm RNA was translated in vitro using a cell-free assay to determine pretranslational effects on other muscle proteins. Effects of ractopamine on muscle protein synthesis are not specific to sm alpha-actin, because other muscle proteins also were increased using the in vitro translation assay. These results indicate that the increase in sm accretion in pigs fed ractopamine is due in part to an increase in myofibrillar protein synthesis and that some of the increase can be accounted for by an increase in mRNA abundance for sm alpha-actin.

Alternate JournalEndocrinology
PubMed ID2351110
Grant ListGM-36851 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States