Akt (protein kinase B) isoform phosphorylation and signaling downstream of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) in denervated atrophic and hypertrophic mouse skeletal muscle

School of Natural Sciences, Linnaeus University, SE-391 82, Kalmar, Sweden. .
Journal of Molecular Signaling 06/2012; 7(1):7. DOI: 10.1186/1750-2187-7-7
Source: PubMed


The present study examines the hypothesis that Akt (protein kinase B)/mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) signaling is increased in hypertrophic and decreased in atrophic denervated muscle. Protein expression and phosphorylation of Akt1, Akt2, glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta), eukaryotic initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 (4EBP1), 70 kD ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K1) and ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) were examined in six-days denervated mouse anterior tibial (atrophic) and hemidiaphragm (hypertrophic) muscles.
In denervated hypertrophic muscle expression of total Akt1, Akt2, GSK-3beta, p70S6K1 and rpS6 proteins increased 2-10 fold whereas total 4EBP1 protein remained unaltered. In denervated atrophic muscle Akt1 and Akt2 total protein increased 2-16 fold. A small increase in expression of total rpS6 protein was also observed with no apparent changes in levels of total GSK-3beta, 4EBP1 or p70S6K1 proteins. The level of phosphorylated proteins increased 3-13 fold for all the proteins in hypertrophic denervated muscle. No significant changes in phosphorylated Akt1 or GSK-3beta were detected in atrophic denervated muscle. The phosphorylation levels of Akt2, 4EBP1, p70S6K1 and rpS6 were increased 2-18 fold in atrophic denervated muscle.
The results are consistent with increased Akt/mTOR signaling in hypertrophic skeletal muscle. Decreased levels of phosphorylated Akt (S473/S474) were not observed in denervated atrophic muscle and results downstream of mTOR indicate increased protein synthesis in denervated atrophic anterior tibial muscle as well as in denervated hypertrophic hemidiaphragm muscle. Increased protein degradation, rather than decreased protein synthesis, is likely to be responsible for the loss of muscle mass in denervated atrophic muscles.

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