Isolation of a rat adrenal cDNA clone encoding phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase and cold-induced alterations in adrenal PNMT mRNA and protein

Weisberg, E.P.; Baruchin, A.; Stachowiak, M.K.; Stricker, E.M.; Zigmond, M.J.; Kaplan, B.B.

Brain Research. Molecular Brain Research 6(2-3): 159-166


ISSN/ISBN: 0169-328X
PMID: 2575695
DOI: 10.1016/0169-328x(89)90050-8
Accession: 040522222

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Cold stress is known to increase the synthesis and release of catecholamines in the sympathoadrenal system. Previously, we have demonstrated that cold exposure results in a 3- to 4-fold increase in adrenomedullary tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity, which is mediated by concomitant alterations in TH mRNA and protein levels. To further investigate the effects of stress on the expression of the catecholamine biosynthetic enzymes, we have isolated a rat cDNA clone encoding the epinephrine-synthesizing enzyme phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT). The cDNA clone is 905 nucleotides in length and contains a single open reading frame corresponding to 270 amino acids. The amino acid sequence predicted from this nearly full-length cDNA is 89% and 86% identical to that of bovine and human PNMT, respectively. Using the rat PNMT cDNA as a hybridization probe, we have measured the effects of cold stress on the relative abundance of adrenomedullary PNMT mRNA. Levels of PNMT protein were also estimated using an immunoblot analysis. As in the case of TH, cold exposure resulted in a rapid and prolonged increase in PNMT mRNA abundance, followed by concomitant increases in PNMT immunoreactivity. However, there appear to be quantitative and qualitative differences in the adaptive response of TH and PNMT to cold stress.