Expression of the preproenkephalin A gene in the heart of cardiomyopathic hamsters.

M. Ouellette, M. Dumont, S. Lemaire, L. Brakier-Gingras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


The expression of the preproenkephalin A gene (Enk gene), which codes for the precursor of enkephalins, was investigated in the heart of hamsters with a hereditary cardiomyopathy at four different stages of the disease: the prenecrotic stage (30 days), the necrotic stage (60 days), the hypertrophic stage (120 days), and the final stage (200 days). In control atria and ventricles, the relative abundance of the Enk mRNA, as assessed by Northern blot analysis, did not change upon ageing. In the ventricles of cardiomyopathic hamsters, however, it increased about two- to three-fold at the necrotic stage, but was unaltered at the other time points studied; whereas in the atria, it progressively decreased to reach about half that of control hamsters at the final stage. Enkephalin levels, as measured by radioimmunoassay, decreased at 60 days in both the atria and ventricles of control hamsters, and also in the atria of cardiomyopathic hamsters, and remained stable thereafter, corresponding to one-third to one-half of those at 30 days. However, in the ventricles of cardiomyopathic hamsters, the peptide level decreased only slightly, the consequence being that at 60, 120, and 200 days, it was about two- to three-fold that of control hamsters. The lack of correlation between peptide levels and the relative abundance of the Enk mRNA suggests that translational and (or) post-translational mechanisms are important in the control of the expression of the Enk gene in the heart of hamsters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-453
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemistry and cell biology = Biochimie et biologie cellulaire
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this