Energetic costs of protein synthesis do not differ between red- and white-blooded Antarctic notothenioid fishes.Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2015 Sep; 187:177-83.CB
Antarctic icefishes (Family Channichthyidae) within the suborder Notothenioidei lack the oxygen-binding protein hemoglobin (Hb), and six of the 16 species of icefishes lack myoglobin (Mb) in heart ventricle. As iron-centered proteins, Hb and Mb can promote the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that damage biological macromolecules. Consistent with this, our previous studies have shown that icefishes have lower levels of oxidized proteins and lipids in oxidative muscle compared to red-blooded notothenioids. Because oxidized proteins are usually degraded by the 20S proteasome and must be resynthesized, we hypothesized that rates of protein synthesis would be lower in icefishes compared to red-blooded notothenioids, thereby reducing the energetic costs of protein synthesis and conferring a benefit to the loss of Hb and Mb. Rates of protein synthesis were quantified in hearts, and the fraction of oxygen consumption devoted to protein synthesis was measured in isolated hepatocytes and cardiomyocytes of notothenioids differing in the expression of Hb and cardiac Mb. Neither rates of protein synthesis nor the energetic costs of protein synthesis differed among species, suggesting that red-blooded species do not degrade and replace oxidatively modified proteins at a higher rate compared to icefishes but rather, persist with higher levels of oxidized proteins.