Growth hormone and drug metabolism. Acute effects on nuclear ribonucleic acid polymerase activity and chromatin.

T. C. Spelsberg, J. T. Wilson

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7 Scopus citations


Adult male rats, subjected either to sham operation or to hypophysectomy and adrenalectomy were maintained for 10 days before treatment with growth hormone. Results of the acute effects of growth hormone on the rat liver nuclear RNA polymerase I (nucleolar) and II (nucleoplasmic) activities as well as the chromatin template capacity were then studied and compared with the growth-hormone effects on the drug metabolism described in the preceding paper (Wilson & Spelsberg, 1976). 2. Conditions for isolation and storage of nuclei for maintenance of optimal polymerase activities are described. It is verified that the assays for polymerase activities require a DNA template, all four nucleoside triphosphates, and a bivalent cation, and that the acid-insoluble radioactive product represents RNA. Proof is presented that under high-salt conditions DNA-like RNA (polymerase II) is synthesized, and that under low-salt conditions in the presence of alpha-amanitin, rRNA (polymerase I) is synthesized. 3. In the livers of hypophysectomized/adrenalectomized rats, growth hormone increases the activity of both RNA polymerase enzymes and the chromatin template capacity within 1h after treatment. The effects last for 12h in the case of polymerase II but for only 6h in the case of polymerase I. Sham-operated rats respond to growth hormone in a manner somewhat similar to that shown by hypophysectomized/adrenalectomized rats. These results, which demonstrate an enhancement of RNA polymerase I activity in response to growth hormone, support those from other laboratories. 4. Growth-hormone enhancement of the chromatin template capacity in the liver of hypophysectomized/adrenalectomized rats contrasts with previous reports. The growth-hormone-induced de-repression of the chromatin DNA could represent the basis of the growth-hormone-induced enhancement of RNA polymerase II activity in the hypophysectomized/adrenalectomized rats, although some effect of growth-hormone on the polymerase enzymes is still suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-448
Number of pages10
JournalThe Biochemical journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 15 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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