Skeletal and smooth muscle alpha-actin mRNA in endomyocardial biopsy samples of dilated cardiomyopathy patients

Life Sci. 1998;63(20):1779-91. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(98)00452-4.


Skeletal or smooth muscle alpha-actin isoform is reexpressed in hypertrophied or failing heart in experimental animals, however, it has been unknown whether there is a switching of these genes in the human heart. In this study, we assessed alpha-actin isoform mRNA in biopsied specimens from the left ventricle of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The biopsy was performed in 21 patients (DCM; 16, normal; 5). Skeletal and smooth muscle alpha-actin mRNA levels were assessed by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction using a synthetic RNA as internal control. The level of both alpha-actin mRNAs correlated well with the mean cardiomyocyte diameter as an index of cardiac hypertrophy. Further, there was a clear correlation between the expression of skeletal alpha-actin mRNA or smooth muscle alpha-actin mRNA and the ejection fraction. These results suggested that mRNAs for skeletal and smooth muscle alpha-actin isoforms are increased in the hypertrophic and/or failing heart. These mRNAs may be an useful marker for the pathological state of cardiomyopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / biosynthesis*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / metabolism*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Smooth / metabolism
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis*


  • Actins
  • RNA, Messenger