Cytosolic malic enzyme was purified from rat mammary gland by L-malate affinity chromatography. The pure enzyme obtained was used to produce a specific antiserum in a rabbit. Relative synthesis of malic enzyme in the mammary gland of mid-lactating rats was 0.097%, measured by labelling the enzyme in isolated acini. When food was removed, malic enzyme synthesis decreased to 35% and 20% of the control value at 4 and 6 h respectively. Incorporation of [3H]leucine into soluble proteins was constant during the first 6 h of starvation. When lactating rats (maintained with their pups) were starved for 24 h and then re-fed, the relative rate of enzyme synthesis increased 2.5-, 4-, and 4.5-fold at 3 h, 6 h and 18 h respectively after initiation of re-feeding. The relative rate of malic enzyme synthesis was about 50% of normal at 15 h after weaning, whereas the rate of synthesis of soluble proteins did not change. Administration of bromocriptine or adrenalectomy of lactating rats decreased the relative rate of synthesis of malic enzyme by 40% or 30% respectively; these effects were counteracted by hormone supplementation. Hormone therapy also caused an increase in the rate of incorporation of [3H]leucine into soluble proteins and in malic enzyme activity.
- © 1986 London: The Biochemical Society