Leucine acutely reverses burn-induced alterations in translation initiation in heart

Charles H. Lang, Nobuko Deshpande, Robert A. Frost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Myocardial dysfunction is a common manifestation of thermal injury, the etiology of which appears to be multifactorial. We have previously demonstrated that burn injury impairs cardiac protein synthesis at the level of translation initiation. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether oral administration of leucine, which is known to stimulate translation initiation in skeletal muscle, can ameliorate burn-induced changes in signal transduction pathways known to regulate protein synthesis in cardiac muscle. To address this aim, thermal injury was produced by a 40% total body surface area full-thickness scald burn in anesthetized rats, and the animals were studied in the fasted condition 24 h later; appropriate time-matched nonburned control rats were also included. Separate groups of control and burn rats also received an oral gavage of leucine. To identify potential mechanisms responsible for regulating mRNA translation in cardiac muscle, several eukaryotic initiation factors (elFs) were examined using immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting techniques. Hearts from burned rats demonstrated a redistribution of elF4E as evidenced by the increased binding of the translational represser 4E-BP1 with elF4E, a decreased amount of elF4E bound with elF4G, and a decreased amount of the hyperphosphorylated γ-isoform of 4E-BP1. Furthermore, constitutive phosphorylation of mTOR, the ribosomal protein S6, and elF4G was also decreased in hearts from burned rats. In control rats, leucine failed to alter elF4E distribution but did increase the phosphorylation of S6K1 and S6. However, in hearts from burn rats, leucine acutely reversed the alterations in elF4E distribution as well as the changes in S6, elF4G, and mTOR phosphorylation. These data suggest that oral administration of leucine can acutely reverse multiple defects in cardiac translation initiation produced by thermal injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-332
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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