A method has been developed to measure the relative rate of rat tissue kallikrein synthesis which employs a specific antiserum raised against a purified rat urinary kallikrein. Incorporation of [35S]methionine into kallikrein and protein 20 min after intraperitoneal injection was measured in submaxillary gland, pancreas, kidney and descending colon. Kallikrein content was measured with a direct radioimmunoassay, and kallikrein-specific incorporation of [35S]methionine measured after immunoprecipitation. Kallikrein specific radioactivity (c.p.m./mg of enzyme) was about 100-fold greater than that in total protein in both kidney and colon. In contrast, in pancreas the incorporation into the enzyme was only 5-fold higher than into protein, and in submaxillary gland the incorporation was equivalent. Measured as kallikrein-specific radioactivity relative to total protein radioactivity incorporated in 20 min, kallikrein represents 0.18% of total protein synthesis in the kidney, 0.34% in the pancreas, 0.41% in the colon, but 7.29% in the submaxillary gland. Dietary Na+ restriction increased the relative rate of kallikrein synthesis 1.8-fold in the kidney without a comparable effect in submaxillary gland. In contrast, testosterone increased the relative rate of synthesis 2.3-fold in submaxillary gland, but decreased it in kidney. The data show that endogenous kallikrein synthesis differs markedly in various tissues, and that interventions which are known to change kallikrein content or excretion also change the relative rate of enzyme synthesis.

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