Mitochondrial-genome-encoded RNAs: Differential regulation by corticotropin in bovine adrenocortical cells

Moshe Raikhinstein, Israel Hanukoglu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Differential screening of an adrenal cortex cDNA library for corticotropin (ACTH)-inducible genes led to the isolation of a group of cDNAs representing mitochondrial genes that encode subunits of cytochrome oxidase, ATPase, and NADH dehydrogenase. Northern blot analysis of RNA from cells stimulated by ACTH confirmed the induction of these genes by ACTH yet revealed major differences in the relative responses of the respective mRNAs. The levels of mRNAs for cytochrome oxidase subunit I and ATPase increased 2- to 4-fold and for NADH dehydrogenase subunit 3 increased 20-fold, whereas the levels of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA showed no change within 6 h of ACTH stimulation. These effects of ACTH on mitochondrial mRNA levels probably result from both activation of the H2 transcription unit that encodes mitochondrial mRNAs and alteration of mRNA stability. ACTH also increased the activity of cytochrome oxidase after 12 h of stimulation. Examination of the tissue specificity of expression of five mitochondrial genes showed a wide range of RNA levels among 11 tissues but high correlations between individual RNA levels, consistent with a coordinated expression of the mitochondrial genes, although at different levels in each cell type. Proportionately high levels of mitochondrial mRNAs were found in adrenal cortex, probably reflecting a stimulatory effect of ACTH in vivo. Overall, the results indicate that ACTH enhances the energy-producing capacity of adrenocortical cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10509-10513
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
StatePublished - 15 Nov 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • ATPase
  • Cytochrome oxidase
  • NADH dehydrogenase
  • Steroidogenesis


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