[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The calcium-activated phosphatase calcineurin (Cn) transduces physiological signals through intracellular pathways to influence the expression of specific genes. Here, we characterize a naturally occurring splicing variant of the CnAbeta catalytic subunit (CnAbeta1) in which the autoinhibitory domain that controls enzyme activation is replaced with a unique C-terminal region. The CnAbeta1 enzyme is constitutively active and dephosphorylates its NFAT target in a cyclosporine-resistant manner. CnAbeta1 is highly expressed in proliferating myoblasts and regenerating skeletal muscle fibers. In myoblasts, CnAbeta1 knockdown activates FoxO-regulated genes, reduces proliferation, and induces myoblast differentiation. Conversely, CnAbeta1 overexpression inhibits FoxO and prevents myotube atrophy. Supplemental CnAbeta1 transgene expression in skeletal muscle leads to enhanced regeneration, reduced scar formation, and accelerated resolution of inflammation. This unique mode of action distinguishes the CnAbeta1 isoform as a candidate for interventional strategies in muscle wasting treatment.
The Journal of Cell Biology 01/2008; 179(6):1205-18. · 9.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aging skeletal muscles suffer a steady decline in mass and functional performance, and compromised muscle integrity as fibrotic invasions replace contractile tissue, accompanied by a characteristic loss in the fastest, most powerful muscle fibers1,
2. The same programmed deficits in muscle structure and function are found in numerous neurodegenerative syndromes and disease-related cachexia3. We have generated a model of persistent, functional myocyte hypertrophy using a tissue-restricted transgene encoding a locally acting isoform of insulin-like growth factor-1 that is expressed in skeletal muscle (mIgf-1). Transgenic embryos developed normally, and postnatal increases in muscle mass and strength were not accompanied by the additional pathological changes seen in other Igf-1 transgenic models. Expression of GATA-2, a transcription factor normally undetected in skeletal muscle, marked hypertrophic myocytes that escaped age-related muscle atrophy and retained the proliferative response to muscle injury characteristic of younger animals. The preservation of muscle architecture and age-independent regenerative capacity through localized mIgf-1 transgene expression suggests clinical strategies for the treatment of age or disease-related muscle frailty.