Expression of myosin isoforms in the smooth muscle of human corpus cavernosum

P. T. Koi, P. M. Milhoua, V. Monrose, A. Melman, M. E. DiSanto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The molecular interaction between smooth muscle (SM) myosin and actin in the corpus cavernosum (CC) determines the erectile state of the penis. A key mechanism regulating this interaction and subsequent development and maintenance of force is alternative splicing of SM myosin heavy chain (MHC) and 17 kDa essential SM myosin light chain (MLC) pre-mRNAs. Our aim was to examine the relative SM myosin isoform composition in human CC. Tissue samples were obtained from 18 patients with erectile dysfunction (ED), Peyronie's disease, or both. One specimen was obtained during a transgender operation. Patients then were stratified according to presence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ED, or Peyronie's disease, as well as failure of phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors and history of previous pelvic or penile surgeries, radiation, or both. Our results revealed that all human CC samples expressed only the SM-A isoform. There was a predominance of SM2 isoform mRNA relative to SM1 across all samples, with a mean of 63.8%, which correlated with protein analysis by gel electrophoresis. A statistically significant difference was found between patients who had undergone previous pelvic surgery, radiation, or both and those who did not. The ratio of LC17b to LC17a was approximately 1:1 for all patients, with a mean of 48.9% LC17b. Statistical difference was seen in the relative ratio of LC17b to LC17a among the group who failed conservative therapy with PDE5 inhibitors compared with all others. In conclusion, we determined the SM myosin isoform composition of human CC and present for the first time differences in relative myosin isoform expression among patients with several risk factors contributing to their cause of ED. Our data reflect the fact that alternative splicing events in the MHC and 17 kDa MLC pre-mRNA may be a possible molecular mechanism involved in the altered contractility of the CCSM in patients with ED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of impotence research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


  • LC
  • PDE5 inhibitors
  • Pelvic surgery
  • SM-A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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