Hormonal influences on cardiac myosin ATPase activity and myosin isoenzyme distribution

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1984 Mar;34(3):169-81. doi: 10.1016/0303-7207(84)90173-4.


It has been recognized for a long time that changes in hormone secretion can influence cardiac function; however, the biochemical basis for these changes has only recently been clarified. In this review the influences of hormonal status on the contractile protein myosin is discussed. Myosin has a rod-like portion and a globular head and consists of two myosin heavy chains (MHC) and four light chains (LC), two of which are identical. The globular head is the site of an ATP-splitting enzyme, the myosin ATPase, and increases in myosin ATPase activity are closely related to an increased velocity of contraction of the heart. Myosin ATPase activity shows marked response to alterations in thyroid hormone, insulin, glucocorticoid, testosterone and catecholamine levels, but marked animal species differences in this response occur. Thyroid hormone administration to normal rabbits, for example, increases myosin ATPase activity markedly, but the myosin ATPase activity of hyperthyroid rats remains unchanged. In contrast, in hypothyroid rats myosin ATPase activity is markedly decreased but the hypothyroid rabbit shows no such response. These species-related differences in the hormonal response of myosin ATPase activity result from the predominance pattern of specific myosin isoenzymes. In the normal rat heart three myosin isoenzymes, V1, V2 and V3, can be separated electrophoretically. Myosin V1 predominates (70% of total myosin), and has the highest myosin ATPase activity, whereas in rabbits myosin V3, which has a lower myosin ATPase activity, is the predominant isomyosin. Thyroid hormone administration to rabbits induces myosin V1 predominance and therefore increases myosin ATPase activity, whereas in hyperthyroid rats only a small further increase in V1 predominance can occur. The alterations in myosin isoenzyme predominance and myosin ATPase activity are closely correlated to changes in cardiac contractility. Hormone-induced alterations in myosin isoenzyme predominance are mediated through changes in the formation of two isoforms of myosin heavy chain. Changes in the expression of different myosin heavy chain genes are most likely responsible for the thyroid hormone and insulin-induced alterations in myosin isoenzyme predominance. Investigation of the control of myosin heavy chain formation can provide further insights into the hormonal control of a multigene family as well as broaden our understanding of the molecular events which result in altered cardiac contractility.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • Androgens / physiology
  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Catecholamines / physiology
  • Cats
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Glucocorticoids / physiology
  • Heart / physiology
  • Hormones / physiology*
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / enzymology*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Thyroid Hormones / physiology


  • Androgens
  • Catecholamines
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Hormones
  • Isoenzymes
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Calcium