Insulin stimulated total RNA accretion and the incorporation of [3H]uridine into RNA in L6 skeletal-muscle myoblasts. Incorporation of uridine into the rRNA was measured after either separation of 18 S and 28 S rRNA species by agarose-gel electrophoresis or separation of dissociated 40 S and 60 S ribosomal subunits on sucrose density gradients. Both methods showed a stimulation by insulin of uridine incorporation into the RNA of the two subunits. Two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, indomethacin and ibuprofen, which inhibit the metabolism of arachidonic acid by the cyclo-oxygenase pathway, inhibited the insulin-induced accretion of total cellular RNA and the incorporation of uridine into the RNA of both ribosomal subunits. The effect of insulin was observed both by using a tracer dose of [3H]uridine (5 microM) and in the presence of a high concentration (1 mM) of uridine to minimize possible changes in intracellular precursor pools. Neither insulin nor indomethacin was found to affect the incorporation of uridine into the total intracellular nucleotide pool, or the conversion of uridine into UTP. The ability of inhibitors of arachidonic acid metabolism to prevent insulin-induced increases in RNA metabolism suggests that a prostaglandin or other eicosanoid is involved in the signal mechanism whereby insulin stimulates RNA synthesis.

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