Key words: In situ hybridization
Pro-atrial natriuretic factor
Rat (Sprague Dawley)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. The present study examined the distribution of the pro-hormone convertases PC1, PC2, furin, PACE4 and PC5 in the rat heart. Northern blot analysis of RNA extracted from cardiac tissues showed high levels of furin and PACE4 mRNA in the atria and ventricles, while PC5 mRNA was found to be expressed at high levels in the dorsal aorta. Although undetectable by Northern blot analysis, both PC1 and PC2 mRNA were detected by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry in discrete regions of the intracardiac para-aortic ganglia. In situ hybridization studies also showed that furin mRNA was observed in all cardiac tissues and cells, consistent with the previously reported ubiquitous expression of this gene. PACE4 mRNA was highly abundant in both the atria and ventricular cardiomyocytes, with low to undetectable levels observed in blood vessels. Finally, PC5 transcripts were expressed in the endothelial cells lining coronary vessels and the valve leaflets of the heart. The present localization studies in the heart and cardiac blood vessels suggests potential roles for each convertase in the processing of various neuropeptides, hormones and growth factors.
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