Elevation of a specific mRNA in longissimus muscle of steers fed ractopamine. Academic Article uri icon


  • To address the hypothesis that some classes of growth promoters stimulate muscle protein synthesis in growing cattle, 23 crossbred steers were fed diets containing the phenethanolamine growth promoter ractopamine in a 140-d feeding trial. Steers received either no ractopamine, .18 or .36 mg.kg BW-1.d-1 ractopamine for 140 d or .36 or .72 mg.kg BW-1.d-1 ractopamine for 56 d. Longissimus muscle was obtained at slaughter and frozen in liquid N2. RNA was extracted by homogenization of pulverized frozen muscle in guanidinium isothiocyanate and centrifugation through cesium chloride. Polyadenylated mRNA was extracted by capture on oligo-dT columns. Ractopamine had no effect on total RNA or mRNA concentrations (P greater than .25). Hybridization of the RNA to a putative myosin light chain-1/3 (MLC-1/3) cDNA clone in a Northern blot indicated one heavy band (approximately 1 kb) with no evidence of extensive destruction of the RNA. A second, minor band (approximately 3 kb) also was observed in some samples. The MLC-1/3 cDNA clone was hybridized to 1- or 5-micrograms samples of total RNA, and the intensity of the resultant autoradiographs was quantified by laser densitometry. There was a statistical correlation between MLC-1/3 mRNA-micrograms RNA-1 and longissimus cross-sectional area (P less than .05) and average daily gain (P less than .025). The results suggest that ractopamine either increased the transcription of the putative MLC-1/3 gene and(or) increased the stability of MLC-1/3 mRNA in bovine longissimus muscle, either of which could result in an increase in specific myofibrillar protein synthesis.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Smith, S. B., Garcia, D. K., Davis, S. K., & Anderson, D. B.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Smith, SB||Garcia, DK||Davis, SK||Anderson, DB

publication date

  • December 1989