Golf alpha (a G heterotrimeric protein which shares a high homology with Gs alpha) expression was studied in the rat heart before birth and until weaning. Since Golf alpha in the neuro-olfactory epithelium is coupled to olfactory receptors and type III adenylyl cyclase, we looked for the presence of such molecules in the heart. Golf alpha mRNA was detected in the rat heart, highest levels being found in 21-day old fetuses until 3 days post partum. The protein amounts measured by Western blots paralleled the Golf alpha mRNA levels. Immunohistochemical studies revealed the presence of Golf alpha in atrial and ventricular cardiomyocytes. OL1 and latrophilin mRNAs, G protein-coupled olfactory receptors, were expressed at early postnatal stages. Adenylyl cyclase mRNAs for type II, type III, type V and type VI were expressed before birth and until weaning. Elements for an unexpected signaling pathway involving odorant receptors like OL1 and latrophilin, Golf alpha and type III adenylyl cyclase were expressed in rat heart, and appeared developmentally regulated.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.