Molecular signals for initiating protein synthesis in organ hypertrophy

G. L. Hammond, E. Wieben, C. L. Markert

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55 Scopus citations


When chronically provoked to increased physiologic activity, organs increase in mass through augmented protein synthesis. This process of compensatory hypertrophy can involve cell division as well as cell growth. To test for molecules that might regulate organ size, by inducing hypertrophy, we performed a series of experiments using isolated, perfused, canine hearts in which the left ventricle was beating but performed no work. Hypertrophying hearts and kidneys as well as normal control organs were extracted and the extracts were perfused through isolated heart preparations. Before and after perfusion, RNA was extracted from fragments of the isolated hearts and translated in cell-free media containing [35S]methionine. Incorporation of methionine into protein was measured by liquid scintillation spectrometry. When perfused through normal hearts, extracts from hypertrophying heart and kidney were able to increase greatly the translational ability of RNA extracted from the normal hearts; corresponding perfusates from nonhypertrophying hearts and kidneys had no effect. Our results indicate that molecules that initiate hypertrophic organ growth are extractable, are generated by the cells of the organ under stress, and are probably similar in heart and kidney and perhaps in many other organs as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2455-2459
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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