Expression of the fast twitch troponin complex, fTnT, fTnl and fTnC, in vascular smooth muscle

Carlos M. Moran, Robert J. Garriock, Melanie K. Miller, Ronald L Heimark, Carol Gregorio, Paul A Krieg

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Abstract

It is generally believed that proteins of the troponin complex are not expressed in smooth muscle. We have directly assayed for expression of troponin transcripts in mouse vascular smooth muscle and found that troponin sequences normally associated with fast twitch skeletal muscle (ITnT, fTnl, fTnC) were present at significant levels in the thoracic aorta. In situ hybridization experiments demonstrated that ITnT, fTnl and fTnC transcripts were expressed in the smooth muscle layer of mouse blood vessels of all sizes. Protein blot analysis using rat tissue showed that at least two members of the troponin complex, Troponin T and Troponin I, were translated in vascular smooth muscle of the aorta. Finally, immuno-fluorescence microscopy of rat aortic smooth muscle revealed that TnT and TnI are localized in a unique pattern, coincident with the distribution of tropomyosin. It seems likely therefore, that a complete troponin complex is expressed in vascular smooth muscle and is associated with the contractile machinery of the cell. These observations raise the possibility that troponins play a role in regulation of smooth muscle function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-661
Number of pages10
JournalCell Motility and the Cytoskeleton
Volume65
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

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Keywords

  • Intestinal smooth muscle
  • Troponin
  • Vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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