Expression of capacitative calcium TrpC proteins in rat myometrium during pregnancy.
External Ca2+ entry into myometrial smooth-muscle cells is important to uterine contraction and hence to labor progression and parturition. Proteins of the transient receptor potential (Trp) channel family are putative capacitative Ca2+ entry channels that respond to contractant-generated signals and intracellular Ca2+ store depletion. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was used to examine the relative expression of TrpC mRNAs in rat myometrium and determine their expression pattern during pregnancy and labor. rTrpC1, rTrpC2, rTrpC4, rTrpC5, rTrpC6, and rTrpC7 mRNAs, but not rTrpC3 mRNA, were expressed in nonpregnant rat myometrium. With the exception of rTrpC7, the resulting products were sequenced and found to be identical with published sequences; new rTrpC7 sequence exhibited >88% homology to mouse and human TrpC7 coding regions. Relative to beta-actin mRNA, rTrpC4 mRNA was expressed in the greatest abundance. rTrpC1, 5, and 6 mRNAs were expressed at lower levels, whereas rTrpC2 and 7 mRNAs were barely detectable. This relative expression pattern was also observed throughout the course of gestation. There were no major differences in expression of rTrpC1, 2, 4, or 7 mRNAs between Day 13 and Day 21 of gestation or labor. Rat TrpC5 and TrpC6 mRNA expression decreased in pregnancy but was not altered between Day 13 and Day 21 or in labor. Western blot analysis generally confirmed these observations with respect to protein expression. These data suggest that rTrpC4 may play a major role in regulated Ca2+ entry in myometrial cells and throughout pregnancy but do not rule out contributions from other Trp proteins.