In situ hybridization and immunocytochemical localization of SERCA2 encoded Ca2+ pump in rabbit heart and stomach
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Heart tissue contains large amounts of the protein encoded by the Ca2+ pump gene SERCA2. The SERCA2 RNA can be spliced alternatively to produce mRNA encoding the proteins SERCA2a and SERCA2b which differ in their C-terminal sequences. In this study we report the tissue distribution of SERCA2a and SERCA2b isoforms by in situ hybridization to rabbit heart and stomach. The expression of SERCA2 mRNA was high in myocardial cells, being the highest in the atrial region. In contrast, there was more SERCA2 protein in Western blots in ventricles than in atria. Myocardial cells expressed predominantly the mRNA for the isoform SERCA2a. Whereas the stomach smooth muscle and the neuronal plexus expressed SERCA2 at levels much lower than myocardial cells, the expression was very high in the stomach mucosa. Mucosa contained mainly the mRNA for SERCA2b. From immunocytochemistry it was concluded that the anti-heart SR Ca2+ pump antibody IID8 reacted much better with heart and surface mucosal cells in the stomach than with the stomach smooth muscle, and that IID8 reactivity was intracellular. In contrast PM4A2B, an antibody against the plasma membrane Ca2+ pump, reacted well with heart and stomach smooth muscle, plexus and mucosa, and its localization appeared to be in the plasma membrane. Thus, stomach smooth muscle expressed SERCA2b mRNA and protein at low levels, mucosa expressed SERCA2b mRNA and protein at high levels, atria and ventricle expressed SERCA2a mRNA and protein at high levels, mRNA being more in atria, but protein being more in ventricles.