Meal feeding alters translational control of gene expression in rat liver

Ali K. Reiter, Stephen J. Crozier, Scot R. Kimball, Leonard S. Jefferson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Meal feeding after a period of food deprivation results in a subsequent increase in the protein and RNA content of the liver. To gain insight into the mechanisms involved in the response to food intake, changes in the association of selected mRNAs with polysomes were examined. On the day of the study, rat livers were collected at 0, 15, 60, and 180 min after the start of feeding and analyzed for biomarkers of the translational control of protein synthesis. Protein synthesis was increased within 60 min and was sustained for 180 min. Assembly of the active eukaryotic initiation factor (elF) 4F complex was elevated within 15 min, as indicated by the relative association of elF4E·elF4G, but returned to the basal value within 180 min. Phosphorylation of the ribosomal protein (rp) S6 kinase S6K1 and its substrate rpS6 was increased within 15 min and was sustained for at least 180 min. Both elF4F assembly and activation of S6K1 have been linked to upregulated translation of a subset of mRNAs. To identify translationally regulated mRNAs, polysomal (i.e., actively translated) and nonpolysomal (nontranslated) fractions were isolated and subjected to microarray analysis. The mRNAs encoding 78 proteins, including 42 proteins involved in protein synthesis, exhibited increased abundance in polysomes in response to feeding. Overall, the results demonstrate that protein synthesis as well as ribosomal protein mRNA translation undergo rapid and sustained stimulation in the liver after meal feeding and thus contribute to the previously observed increases in protein and RNA content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-375
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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