Chapter
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

A variety of diseases and conditions result in muscle atrophy. Muscle atrophy causes a decrease of mobility, increased susceptibility to injuries and reduced Quality of Life (QOL). The various types of muscle atrophy are due to increased protein breakdown, decreased protein synthesis or both. Muscle mass is maintained by the balance between muscle protein synthesis and degradation. To prevent muscle atrophy, several types of intervention have been tried. Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) administration is one of the interventions because BCAAs have been reported to stimulate protein synthesis and attenuate protein degradation in muscles. BCAAs are components of proteins that also function as signals that regulate cellular signaling pathways activated in the protein synthesis and protein degradation. In this review, the regulatory functions of the BCAAs in cellular signaling are discussed first, and the effects of the BCAAs on several types of muscle atrophy in human and animals are described thereafter.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

Article
Many chronic diseases are associated with unintentional loss of body weight, which is termed “cachexia”. Cachexia is a complex multifactorial syndrome associated with the underlying primary disease, and characterized by loss of skeletal muscle with or without loss of fat tissue. Patients with cachexia face dire symptoms like dyspnea, fatigue, edema, exercise intolerance, and low responsiveness to medical therapy, which worsen quality of life. Because cachexia is not a stand-alone disorder, treating primary disease — such as cancer — takes precedence for the physician, and it remains mostly a neglected illness. Existing clinical trials have demonstrated limited success mostly because of their monotherapeutic approach and late detection of the syndrome. To conquer cachexia, it is essential to identify as many molecular targets as possible using the latest technologies we have at our disposal. In this review, we have discussed different aspects of cachexia, which include various disease settings, active molecular pathways, and recent novel advances made in this field to understand consequences of this illness. We also discuss roles of the sirtuins, the NAD ⁺ -dependent lysine deacetylases, microRNAs, certain dietary options, and epigenetic drugs as potential approaches, which can be used to tackle cachexia as early as possible in its course.
Article
Full-text available
Amino acid availability is a rate-limiting factor in the regulation of protein synthesis. When amino acid supplies become restricted, mammalian cells employ homeostatic mechanisms to rapidly inhibit processes such as protein synthesis, which demands high levels of amino acids. Muscle cells in particular are subject to high protein turnover rates to maintain amino acid homeostasis. Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is an evolutionary conserved multiprotein complex that coordinates a network of signaling cascades and functions as a key mediator of protein translation, gene transcription, and autophagy. Signal transduction through mTORC1, which is centrally involved in muscle growth through enhanced protein translation, is governed by intracellular amino acid supply. The branched-chain amino acid leucine is critical for muscle growth and acts in part through activation of mTORC1. Recent research has revealed that mTORC1 signaling is coordinated primarily at the lysosomal membranes. This discovery has sparked a wealth of research in this field, revealing several different signaling molecules involved in transducing the amino acid signal to mTORC1, including the Rag GTPases, MAP4K3, and Vps34/ULK1. This review evaluates the current knowledge regarding cellular mechanisms that control and sense the intracellular amino acid pool. We discuss the role of leucine and mTORC1 in the regulation of amino acid transport via the system L and system A transporters such as LAT1 and SNAT2, as well as protein degradation via autophagic and proteasomal pathways. We also describe the complexities of energy homeostasis via AMPK and cell receptor-mediated growth signals that also converge on mTORC1. Leucine is a particularly potent regulator of protein turnover, to the extent where leucine stimulation alone is sufficient to stimulate mTORC1 signal transduction. The significance of leucine in this context is not yet known; however, recent advancements in this area will also be covered within this review.
Article
Full-text available
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is an evolutionarily conserved protein kinase that exquisitely regulates protein metabolism in skeletal muscle. mTOR integrates input from amino acids, growth factors, and intracellular cues to make or break muscle protein. mTOR accomplishes this task by stimulating the phosphorylation of substrates that control protein translation while simultaneously inhibiting proteasomal and autophagic protein degradation. In a metabolic twist of fate, sepsis induces muscle atrophy in part by the aberrant regulation of mTOR. In this review, we track the steps of normal mTOR signaling in muscle and examine where they go astray in sepsis and inflammation.
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the utility of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) in dexamethasone-induced muscle atrophy. Dexamethasone (600 microg/kg, intraperitoneally) and/or BCAA (600 mg/kg, orally) were administered for 5 days in rats, and the effect of BCAA on dexamethasone-induced muscle atrophy was evaluated. Dexamethasone decreased total protein concentration of rat soleus muscles. Concomitant administration of BCAA reversed the decrease. Dexamethasone decreased mean cross-sectional area of soleus muscle fibers, which was reversed by BCAA. Dexamethasone increased atrogin-1 expression, which has been reported to play a pivotal role in muscle atrophy. The increased expression of atrogin-1 mRNA was significantly attenuated by BCAA. Furthermore, dexamethasone-induced conversion from microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3)-I to LC3-II, which is an indicator of autophagy, was blocked by BCAA. These findings suggest that BCAA decreased protein breakdown to prevent muscle atrophy. BCAA administration appears to be useful for prevention of steroid myopathy.
Article
Full-text available
The mTORC1 pathway is required for both the terminal muscle differentiation and hypertrophy by controlling the mammalian translational machinery via phosphorylation of S6K1 and 4E-BP1. mTOR and S6K1 are connected by interacting with the eIF3 initiation complex. The regulatory subunit eIF3f plays a major role in muscle hypertrophy and is a key target that accounts for MAFbx function during atrophy. Here we present evidence that in MAFbx-induced atrophy the degradation of eIF3f suppresses S6K1 activation by mTOR, whereas an eIF3f mutant insensitive to MAFbx polyubiquitination maintained persistent phosphorylation of S6K1 and rpS6. During terminal muscle differentiation a conserved TOS motif in eIF3f connects mTOR/raptor complex, which phosphorylates S6K1 and regulates downstream effectors of mTOR and Cap-dependent translation initiation. Thus eIF3f plays a major role for proper activity of mTORC1 to regulate skeletal muscle size.
Article
Full-text available
Loss of myofibrillar proteins is a hallmark of atrophying muscle. Expression of muscle RING-finger 1 (MuRF1), a ubiquitin ligase, is markedly induced during atrophy, and MuRF1 deletion attenuates muscle wasting. We generated mice expressing a Ring-deletion mutant MuRF1, which binds but cannot ubiquitylate substrates. Mass spectrometry of the bound proteins in denervated muscle identified many myofibrillar components. Upon denervation or fasting, atrophying muscles show a loss of myosin-binding protein C (MyBP-C) and myosin light chains 1 and 2 (MyLC1 and MyLC2) from the myofibril, before any measurable decrease in myosin heavy chain (MyHC). Their selective loss requires MuRF1. MyHC is protected from ubiquitylation in myofibrils by associated proteins, but eventually undergoes MuRF1-dependent degradation. In contrast, MuRF1 ubiquitylates MyBP-C, MyLC1, and MyLC2, even in myofibrils. Because these proteins stabilize the thick filament, their selective ubiquitylation may facilitate thick filament disassembly. However, the thin filament components decreased by a mechanism not requiring MuRF1.
Article
Full-text available
It has been reported that the blunted muscle protein synthetic response to food intake in the elderly can be normalized by increasing the leucine content of a meal. The objective was to assess the effect of 3 mo of leucine supplementation on muscle mass and strength in healthy elderly men. Thirty healthy elderly men with a mean (+/-SEM) age of 71 +/- 4 y and body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)) of 26.1 +/- 0.5 were randomly assigned to either a placebo-supplemented (n = 15) or leucine-supplemented (n = 15) group. Leucine or placebo (2.5 g) was administered with each main meal during a 3-mo intervention period. Whole-body insulin sensitivity, muscle strength (one-repetition maximum), muscle mass (measured by computed tomography and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), myosin heavy chain isoform distribution, and plasma amino acid and lipid profiles were assessed before, during, and/or after the intervention period. No changes in skeletal muscle mass or strength were observed over time in either the leucine- or placebo-supplemented group. No improvements in indexes of whole-body insulin sensitivity (oral glucose insulin sensitivity index and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance), blood glycated hemoglobin content, or the plasma lipid profile were observed. Conclusion: Long-term leucine supplementation (7.5 g/d) does not augment skeletal muscle mass or strength and does not improve glycemic control or the blood lipid profile in healthy elderly men. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00807508.
Article
Full-text available
Food deprivation induces a repression of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle in part due to reduced signaling through the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Previous studies have identified upregulated expression of the protein Regulated in DNA Damage and Development (REDD1) as an important mechanism in the regulation of mTORC1 activity in response to a variety of stresses. Our goal in this investigation was to determine whether modulation of REDD1 expression occurs in response to food deprivation and refeeding, and, if it does, to ascertain if changes in REDD1 expression correlate with altered mTORC1 signaling. As expected, mTORC1 signaling was repressed after 18 h of food deprivation compared with freely-fed control rats and quickly recovered after refeeding for 45 min. Food deprivation caused a dramatic rise in REDD1 mRNA and protein expression; refeeding resulted in a reduction to baseline. Food deprivation is characterized by low-serum insulin and elevated glucocorticoid concentrations. Therefore, initially, alloxan-induced type I diabetes was used to minimize the food deprivation- and refeeding-induced changes in insulin. Although diabetic rats exhibited upregulated REDD1 expression compared with nondiabetic controls, there was no direct correlation between REDD1 mRNA expression and serum insulin levels, and insulin treatment of diabetic rats did not affect REDD1 expression. In contrast, serum corticosterone levels correlated directly with REDD1 mRNA expression (r = 0.68; P = 0.01). Moreover, inhibiting corticosterone-mediated signaling via administration of the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486 blocked both the food deprivation- and diabetes-induced increase in REDD1 mRNA expression. Overall, the results demonstrate that changes in REDD1 expression likely contribute to the regulation of mTORC1 signaling during food deprivation and refeeding.
Article
Full-text available
A simple method is described for measuring rates of protein synthesis and degradation in isolated rat diaphragm. Muscles incubated in Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate buffer showed a linear rate of synthesis for 3 hours. At the same time, the muscle released tyrosine and ninhydrin-positive material, primarily amino acids, at a linear rate. This release was not a nonspecific leakage of material from the intracellular pools, but reflected net protein degradation. Tyrosine was chosen for studies of protein turnover, since it rapidly equilibrates between intracellular pools and the medium, it can be measured fluorometrically, and it is neither synthesized nor degraded by this tissue. To follow protein degradation independently of synthesis, muscles were incubated in the presence of cycloheximide. Under these conditions, the amount of tyrosine in the intracellular pools was constant, while the muscle released tyrosine at a linear rate. This tyrosine release was used as a measure of degradation. This preparation was used to study the influence of various factors known to be important for muscle growth on protein synthesis and degradation. Similar effects were obtained with diaphragms of normal and fasted rats although the latter showed decreased synthesis and increased protein degradation. Insulin by itself not only stimulated synthesis but also inhibited protein degradation (even in the presence of cycloheximide). These two effects served to reduce the net release of tyrosine from muscle protein to comparable extents. Effects of insulin on synthesis and degradation were greater when glucose was also present in the medium. Glucose by itself inhibited protein degradation but in the absence of insulin glucose had no significant effect on synthesis. Nevertheless, glucose stimulated incorporation of radioactivive tyrosine into protein, but this effect was due to an increased intracellular specific activity. Unlike glucose neither beta-hydroxybutyrate or octanoic acid had any demonstrable effects on protein degradion. The addition of amino acids at plasma concentrations both promoted protein synthesis and inhibited degradation in the diaphragm. Five times normal plasma concentrations of the amino acids had larger effects. The three branched chain amino acids together stimulated synthesis and reduced degradation, while the remaining plasma amino acids did not affect either process significantly. Thus leucine, isoleucine, and valine appear responsible for the effects of plasma amino or isoleucine and valine together, also were able to inhibit protein degradation and promote synthesis.
Article
Full-text available
Incorporation of radiolabeled precursors into muscle proteins was studied in isolated rat hemidiaphragms. A mixture of three branched-chain amino acids (0.3 mM each) added to media containing glucose stimulated the incorporation of [14C]lysine into proteins. When tested separately, valine was ineffective, isoleucine was inhibitory, but 0.5 mM leucine increased the specific activity of muscle proteins during incubation with [14C]lysine or [14C]acetate in hemidiaphragms from fed or fasted rats incubated with or without insulin. Preincubation with 0.5 mM leucine increased the specific activity of muscle proteins during a subsequent 30- or 60-min incubation with [14C]lysine or [14C]pyruvate without leucine. Preincubation with other amino acids (glutamate, histidine, methionine, phenylalanine, or tryptophan) did not exert this effect. When hemidiaphragms were incubated with a mixture of amino acids at concentrations found in rat serum and a [14C]lysine tracer, the specific activity of muscle proteins increased when leucine in the medium was raised from 0.1 to 0.5 mM. Experiments with actinomycin D and cycloheximide suggested that neither RNA synthesis nor protein synthesis are required for the initiation of the leucine effect. Leucine was not effective when added after 1 h preincubation without leucine. The concentration of lysine in the tissue water of diaphragms decreased during incubation with 0.5 mM leucine in the presence or absence of cycloheximide, suggesting that leucine inhibited protein degradation. During incubation with [3h]tyrosine (0.35 mM) the addition of 0.5 mM leucine increased the specific activity of muscle proteins, while the specific activity of intracellular tyrosine remained constant and its concentration decreased, suggesting that leucine also promoted protein synthesis. The concentration of leucine in muscle cells or a compartment thereof may play a role in regulating the turnover of muscle proteins and influence the transition to negative nitrogen balance during fasting, uncontrolled diabetes, and the posttraumatic state. Leucine may play a pivotal role in the protein-sparing effect of amino aicds.
Article
Full-text available
The unweighting model is a unique whole animal model that will permit the future delineation of the mechanism(s) by which gravity maintains contractile mass in postural (slow-twitch) skeletal muscle. Since the origination of the model of rodent hindlimb unweighting almost one decade ago, about half of the 59 refereed articles in which this model was utilized have been published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Thus the purpose of this review is to provide, for those researchers with an interest in the hindlimb unweighting model, a summation of the data derived from this model to data and hopefully to stimulate research interest in aspects of the model for which data are lacking. The stress response of the animal to hindlimb unweighting is transient, minimal in magnitude, and somewhat variable. After 1 wk of unweighting, the animal exhibits no chronic signs of stress. The atrophy of the soleus muscle, a predominantly slow-twitch muscle, is emphasized because unweighting preferentially affects it compared with other calf muscles, which are mainly fast-twitch muscles. The review considers the following information about the unweighted soleus muscle: electromyogram activity, amount and type of protein lost, capillarization, oxidative capacity, glycolytic enzyme activities, fiber cross section, contractile properties, glucose uptake, sensitivity to insulin, protein synthesis and degradation rates, glucocorticoid receptor numbers, responses of specific mRNAs, and changes in metabolite concentrations.
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the protein constituents of autophagosome membranes in mammalian cells. Here we demonstrate that the rat microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3), a homologue of Apg8p essential for autophagy in yeast, is associated to the autophagosome membranes after processing. Two forms of LC3, called LC3-I and -II, were produced post-translationally in various cells. LC3-I is cytosolic, whereas LC3-II is membrane bound. The autophagic vacuole fraction prepared from starved rat liver was enriched with LC3-II. Immunoelectron microscopy on LC3 revealed specific labelling of autophagosome membranes in addition to the cytoplasmic labelling. LC3-II was present both inside and outside of autophagosomes. Mutational analyses suggest that LC3-I is formed by the removal of the C-terminal 22 amino acids from newly synthesized LC3, followed by the conversion of a fraction of LC3-I into LC3-II. The amount of LC3-II is correlated with the extent of autophagosome formation. LC3-II is the first mammalian protein identified that specifically associates with autophagosome membranes.
Article
Full-text available
Muscle wasting is a debilitating consequence of fasting, inactivity, cancer, and other systemic diseases that results primarily from accelerated protein degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. To identify key factors in this process, we have used cDNA microarrays to compare normal and atrophying muscles and found a unique gene fragment that is induced more than ninefold in muscles of fasted mice. We cloned this gene, which is expressed specifically in striated muscles. Because this mRNA also markedly increases in muscles atrophying because of diabetes, cancer, and renal failure, we named it atrogin-1. It contains a functional F-box domain that binds to Skp1 and thereby to Roc1 and Cul1, the other components of SCF-type Ub-protein ligases (E3s), as well as a nuclear localization sequence and PDZ-binding domain. On fasting, atrogin-1 mRNA levels increase specifically in skeletal muscle and before atrophy occurs. Atrogin-1 is one of the few examples of an F-box protein or Ub-protein ligase (E3) expressed in a tissue-specific manner and appears to be a critical component in the enhanced proteolysis leading to muscle atrophy in diverse diseases.
Article
Full-text available
Macroautophagy mediates the bulk degradation of cytoplasmic components. It accounts for the degradation of most long-lived proteins: cytoplasmic constituents, including organelles, are sequestered into autophagosomes, which subsequently fuse with lysosomes, where degradation occurs. Although the possible involvement of autophagy in homeostasis, development, cell death, and pathogenesis has been repeatedly pointed out, systematic in vivo analysis has not been performed in mammals, mainly because of a limitation of monitoring methods. To understand where and when autophagy occurs in vivo, we have generated transgenic mice systemically expressing GFP fused to LC3, which is a mammalian homologue of yeast Atg8 (Aut7/Apg8) and serves as a marker protein for autophagosomes. Fluorescence microscopic analyses revealed that autophagy is differently induced by nutrient starvation in most tissues. In some tissues, autophagy even occurs actively without starvation treatments. Our results suggest that the regulation of autophagy is organ dependent and the role of autophagy is not restricted to the starvation response. This transgenic mouse model is a useful tool to study mammalian autophagy.
Article
Full-text available
We determined whether essential amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation could offset the catabolic response to prolonged inactivity. Major outcome measures included mixed muscle fractional synthetic rate (FSR), phenylalanine net balance, lean leg mass, and leg extension strength. On d 1 and 28, vastus lateralis muscle biopsies and femoral arterio-venous blood samples were obtained during a primed constant infusion of l-[ring-(2)H(5)]phenylalanine. Net balance and FSR were calculated over 16 h, during which the control group (CON) received a nutritionally mixed meal every 5 h (0830, 1330, and 1830 h). The experimental group (EXP) also consumed 16.5 g essential amino acids and 30 g carbohydrate (1100, 1600, and 2100 h). The dietary regimen was maintained during bedrest. FSR was higher in the EXP group on d 1 (EXP, 0.099 +/- 0.008%/h; CON: 0.075 +/- 0.005%/h) and d 28 (EXP, 0.093 +/- 0.006%/h; CON, 0.055 +/- 0.007%/h). Lean leg mass was maintained throughout bedrest in the EXP group (+0.2 +/- 0.3 kg), but fell in the CON group (-0.4 +/- 0.1 kg). Strength loss was more pronounced in the CON group (EXP, -8.8 +/- 1.4 kg; CON, -17.8 +/- 4.4 kg). Essential amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation may represent a viable intervention for individuals at risk of sarcopenia due to immobility or prolonged bedrest.
Article
Full-text available
MyoD controls myoblast identity and differentiation and is required for myogenic stem cell function in adult skeletal muscle. MyoD is degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway mediated by different E3 ubiquitin ligases not identified as yet. Here we report that MyoD interacts with Atrogin-1/MAFbx (MAFbx), a striated muscle-specific E3 ubiquitin ligase dramatically up-regulated in atrophying muscle. A core LXXLL motif sequence in MyoD is necessary for binding to MAFbx. MAFbx associates with MyoD through an inverted LXXLL motif located in a series of helical leucine-charged residue-rich domains. Mutation in the LXXLL core motif represses ubiquitination and degradation of MyoD induced by MAFbx. Overexpression of MAFbx suppresses MyoD-induced differentiation and inhibits myotube formation. Finally the purified recombinant SCF(MAFbx) complex (SCF, Skp1, Cdc53/Cullin 1, F-box protein) mediated MyoD ubiquitination in vitro in a lysine-dependent pathway. Mutation of the lysine 133 in MyoD prevented its ubiquitination by the recombinant SCF(MAFbx) complex. These observations thus demonstrated that MAFbx functions in ubiquitinating MyoD via a sequence found in transcriptional coactivators. These transcriptional coactivators mediate the binding to liganded nuclear receptors. We also identified a novel protein-protein interaction module not yet identified in F-box proteins. MAFbx may play an important role in the course of muscle differentiation by determining the abundance of MyoD.
Article
Full-text available
During the evolution of metazoans and the rise of systemic hormonal regulation, the insulin-controlled class 1 phosphatidylinositol 3OH-kinase (PI3K) pathway was merged with the primordial amino acid-driven mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway to control the growth and development of the organism. Insulin regulates mTOR function through a recently described canonical signaling pathway, which is initiated by the activation of class 1 PI3K. However, how the amino acid input is integrated with that of the insulin signaling pathway is unclear. Here we used a number of molecular, biochemical, and pharmacological approaches to address this issue. Unexpectedly, we found that a major pathway by which amino acids control mTOR signaling is distinct from that of insulin and that, instead of signaling through components of the insulin/class 1 PI3K pathway, amino acids mediate mTOR activation by signaling through class 3 PI3K, hVps34. • insulin • nutrients • S6 kinase 1 • endosomes • PI3P
Article
Full-text available
p94/calpain 3 is a skeletal muscle-specific member of the Ca(2+)-regulated cytosolic cysteine protease family, the calpains. Defective p94 protease activity originating from gene mutations causes a muscular dystrophy called calpainopathy, indicating the indispensability of p94 for muscle survival. Because of the existence of the p94-specific regions IS1 and IS2, p94 undergoes very rapid and exhaustive autolysis. To elucidate the physiological relevance of this unique activity, the autolytic profiles of p94 and the effect of the p94 binding protein, connectin/titin, on this process were investigated. In vitro analysis of p94 autolysis showed that autolysis in IS1 proceeds without immediate disassembly into fragments and that the newly identified cryptic autolytic site in IS2 is critical for disassembling autolyzed fragments. As a genetic system to assay p94 autolysis semiquantitatively, p94 was expressed in yeast as a hybrid protein between the DNA binding and activation domains of the yeast transcriptional activator Gal4. Transcriptional activation by the Gal4-p94:WT hybrid protein is precluded by p94 autolysis. Complete or partial loss of autolytic activity by C129S active site mutation, limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A pathogenic missense mutations, or PCR-based random mutagenesis could be detected by semiquantitative restoration of Gal4-dependent beta-galactosidase gene expression. Using this system, the N2A connectin fragment that binds to p94 was shown to suppress p94 autolytic disassembly. The proximity of the IS2 autolytic and connectin-binding sites in p94 suggested that N2A connectin suppresses IS2 autolysis. These data indicate the importance of p94-connectin interaction in the control of p94 functions by regulating autolytic decay of p94.
Article
Full-text available
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a critical modulator of cell growth, acts to integrate signals from hormones, nutrients, and growth-promoting stimuli to downstream effector mechanisms involved in the regulation of protein synthesis. Dexamethasone, a synthetic glucocorticoid that represses protein synthesis, acts to inhibit mTOR signaling as assessed by reduced phosphorylation of the downstream targets S6K1 and 4E-BP1. Dexamethasone has also been shown in one study to up-regulate the expression of REDD1 (also referred to RTP801, a novel stress-induced gene linked to repression of mTOR signaling) in lymphoid, but not nonlymphoid, cells. In contrast to the findings of that study, here we demonstrate that REDD1, but not REDD2, mRNA expression is dramatically induced following acute dexamethasone treatment both in rat skeletal muscle in vivo and in L6 myoblasts in culture. In L6 myoblasts, the effect of the drug on mTOR signaling is efficiently blunted in the presence of REDD1 RNA interference oligonucleotides. Moreover, the dexamethasone-induced assembly of the mTOR regulatory complex Tuberin. Hamartin is disrupted in L6 myoblasts following small interfering RNA-mediated repression of REDD1 expression. Finally, overexpression of Rheb, a downstream target of Tuberin function and a positive upstream effector of mTOR, reverses the effect of dexamethasone on phosphorylation of mTOR substrates. Overall, the data support the conclusion that REDD1 functions upstream of Tuberin and Rheb to down-regulate mTOR signaling in response to dexamethasone.
Article
Full-text available
The mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) signalling pathway is a key regulator of cell growth and is controlled by growth factors and nutrients such as amino acids. Although signalling pathways from growth factor receptors to mTOR have been elucidated, the pathways mediating signalling by nutrients are poorly characterized. Through a screen for protein kinases active in the mTOR signalling pathway in Drosophila we have identified a Ste20 family member (MAP4K3) that is required for maximal S6K (S6 kinase)/4E-BP1 [eIF4E (eukaryotic initiation factor 4E)-binding protein 1] phosphorylation and regulates cell growth. Importantly, MAP4K3 activity is regulated by amino acids, but not the growth factor insulin and is not regulated by the mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin. Our results therefore suggest a model whereby nutrients signal to mTORC1 via activation of MAP4K3.
Article
Full-text available
Wasting of lean tissue as a consequence of metabolic acidosis is a serious problem in patients with chronic renal failure. A possible contributor is inhibition by low pH of the System A (SNAT2) transporter, which carries the amino acid L-glutamine (L-Gln) into muscle cells. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of selective SNAT2 inhibition on intracellular amino acid profiles and amino acid-dependent signaling through mammalian target of rapamycin in L6 skeletal muscle cells. Inhibition of SNAT2 with the selective competitive substrate methylaminoisobutyrate, metabolic acidosis (pH 7.1), or silencing SNAT2 expression with small interfering RNA all depleted intracellular L-Gln. SNAT2 inhibition also indirectly depleted other amino acids whose intracellular concentrations are maintained by the L-Gln gradient across the plasma membrane, notably the anabolic amino acid L-leucine. Consequently, SNAT2 inhibition strongly impaired signaling through mammalian target of rapamycin to ribosomal protein S6 kinase, ribosomal protein S6, and 4E-BP1, leading to impairment of protein synthesis comparable with that induced by rapamycin. It is concluded that even though SNAT2 is only one of several L-Gln transporters in muscle, it may determine intracellular anabolic amino acid levels, regulating the amino acid signaling that affects protein mass, nucleotide/nucleic acid metabolism, and cell growth.
Article
Full-text available
The multiprotein mTORC1 protein kinase complex is the central component of a pathway that promotes growth in response to insulin, energy levels, and amino acids and is deregulated in common cancers. We find that the Rag proteins—a family of four related small guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases)—interact with mTORC1 in an amino acid–sensitive manner and are necessary for the activation of the mTORC1 pathway by amino acids. A Rag mutant that is constitutively bound to guanosine triphosphate interacted strongly with mTORC1, and its expression within cells made the mTORC1 pathway resistant to amino acid deprivation. Conversely, expression of a guanosine diphosphate–bound Rag mutant prevented stimulation of mTORC1 by amino acids. The Rag proteins do not directly stimulate the kinase activity of mTORC1, but, like amino acids, promote the intracellular localization of mTOR to a compartment that also contains its activator Rheb.
Article
Limb immobilization, limb suspension, and bed rest cause substantial loss of skeletal muscle mass, a phenomenon termed disuse atrophy. In order to acquire new knowledge that will assist in the development of therapeutic strategies for minimizing disuse atrophy, the present study was undertaken with the aim of identifying molecular mechanisms that mediate control of protein synthesis and mTORC1 signaling. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to unilateral hindlimb immobilization for 1, 2, 3, or 7 days or served as non-immobilized controls. Following an overnight fast, rats received either saline or L-leucine by oral gavage as a nutrient stimulus. Hindlimb skeletal muscles were extracted 30 min post-gavage, and analyzed for the rate of protein synthesis, mRNA expression, phosphorylation state of key proteins in the mTORC1 signaling pathway, and mTORC1 signaling repressors. In the basal state, mTORC1 signaling and protein synthesis were repressed within 24h in the soleus of an immobilized compared to a non-immobilized hindlimb. These responses were accompanied by a concomitant induction in expression of the mTORC1 repressors REDD1/2. The nutrient stimulus produced an elevation of similar magnitude in mTORC1 signaling in both the immobilized and non-immobilized muscle. In contrast, phosphorylation of p70S6K1 on Thr229 and Thr389 in response to the nutrient stimulus was severely blunted. Phosphorylation of Thr229 by PDK1 is a prerequisite for phosphorylation of Thr389 by mTORC1, suggesting that signaling through PDK1 is impaired in response to immobilization. In conclusion, the results show an immobilization-induced attenuation of mTORC1 signaling mediated by induction of REDD1/2 and defective p70S6K1 phosphorylation.
Article
Atrogin-1 and MuRF1, muscle-specific ubiquitin ligases, and autophagy play a role in protein degradation in muscles. We hypothesized that branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) may decrease atrogin-1, MuRF1, and autophagy, and may have a protective effect on disuse muscle atrophy. To test this hypothesis, we selected hindlimb suspension (HS)-induced muscle atrophy as a model of disuse muscle atrophy because it is an established model to investigate the effects of decreased muscle activity. Sprague-Dawley male rats were assigned to 4 groups: control, HS (14 days), oral BCAA administration (600 mg/[kg day], 22.9% l-isoleucine, 45.8% l-leucine, and 27.6% l-valine), and HS and BCAA administration. After 14 days of the treatment, muscle weights and protein concentrations, cross-sectional area (CSA) of the muscle fibers, atrogin-1 and MuRF1 proteins, and microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 II/I (ratio of LC3 II/I) were measured. Hindlimb suspension significantly reduced soleus muscle weight and CSA of the muscle fibers. Branched-chain amino acid administration partly but significantly reversed the HS-induced decrease in CSA. Hindlimb suspension increased atrogin-1 and MuRF1 proteins, which play a pivotal role in various muscle atrophies. Branched-chain amino acid attenuated the increase in atrogin-1 and MuRF1 in soleus muscles. Hindlimb suspension significantly increased the ratio of LC3 II/I, an indicator of autophagy, whereas BCAA did not attenuate the increase in the ratio of LC3 II/I. These results indicate the possibility that BCAA inhibits HS-induced muscle atrophy, at least in part, via the inhibition of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Oral BCAA administration appears to have the potential to prevent disuse muscle atrophy.
Article
BACKGROUND: Much interest has been focused on nutritional treatment of sarcopenia, loss of muscle mass and performance associated to aging; however, its benefits are unclear. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relevance of nutritional treatment of sarcopenia and assess the effects of supplementation on muscle mass and function within the aged population. METHODS: We searched Medline and the Cochrane Library for controlled trials published between 1991 and 2012. We have assessed the quality, type of intervention, the cohort used, the way muscle mass was measured, and the outcomes of the various studies. RESULTS: We have included 17 studies, with a total of 1287 patients, aged between 65 and 85 on average. An improvement in muscle mass was proven, whether measured with bioelectrical impedance analysis or dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and an improvement in strength was also proven. CONCLUSION: Nutritional supplementation is effective in the treatment of sarcopenia in old age, and its positive effects increase when associated with physical exercise. The main limitation of this treatment is lack of long-term adherence. A healthy diet associated with a physically active lifestyle and possibly with aerobic exercise are the basis of healthy aging, which is the aim of all doctors treating aged people must seek.
Article
Protein supplementation has been proposed as an effective dietary strategy to augment the skeletal muscle adaptive response to prolonged resistance-type exercise training in elderly people. Our objective was to assess the impact of protein supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and physical performance during prolonged resistance-type exercise training in frail elderly men and women. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 2 arms in parallel among 62 frail elderly subjects (78 ± 1 year). These elderly subjects participated in a progressive resistance-type exercise training program (2 sessions per week for 24 weeks) during which they were supplemented twice daily with either protein (2 ∗ 15 g) or a placebo. Lean body mass (DXA), strength (1-RM), and physical performance (SPPB) were assessed at baseline, and after 12 and 24 weeks of intervention. Lean body mass increased from 47.2 kg (95% CI, 43.5-50.9) to 48.5 kg (95% CI, 44.8-52.1) in the protein group and did not change in the placebo group (from 45.7 kg, 95% CI, 42.1-49.2 to 45.4 kg, 95% CI, 41.8-48.9) following the intervention (P value for treatment × time interaction = .006). Strength and physical performance improved significantly in both groups (P = .000) with no interaction effect of dietary protein supplementation. Prolonged resistance-type exercise training represents an effective strategy to improve strength and physical performance in frail elderly people. Dietary protein supplementation is required to allow muscle mass gain during exercise training in frail elderly people. Trial Registration:clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT01110369.
Article
A spherical reflector illuminated by a point source is found to be capable of launching an electromagnetic missile. Since the surfaces of the reflector are not complete spherical surfaces, the problem cannot be solved by simple boundary matching. The electromagnetic fields have to be solved in three regions separately. The general solutions are matched on the boundaries to obtain a set of coefficient equations. Under the conditions for an electromagnetic missile, the coefficient equations are solved asymptotically. The evaluation of the Poynting vector shows that the energy radiated from the reflector has the same slow rate of decay as for the spherical lens.
Article
To evaluate the effectiveness of exercise and amino acid supplementation in enhancing muscle mass and strength in community-dwelling elderly sarcopenic women. Randomized controlled trial. Urban community in Tokyo, Japan. One hundred fifty-five women aged 75 and older were defined as sarcopenic and randomly assigned to one of four groups: exercise and amino acid supplementation (exercise + AAS; n = 38), exercise (n = 39), amino acid supplementation (AAS; n = 39), or health education (HE; n = 39). The exercise group attended a 60-minute comprehensive training program twice a week, and the AAS group ingested 3 g of a leucine-rich essential amino acid mixture twice a day for 3 months. Body composition was determined using bioelectrical impedance analysis. Data from interviews and functional fitness parameters such as muscle strength and walking ability were collected at baseline and after the 3-month intervention. A significant group × time interaction was seen in leg muscle mass (P = .007), usual walking speed (P = .007), and knee extension strength (P = .017). The within-group analysis showed that walking speed significantly increased in all three intervention groups, leg muscle mass in the exercise + AAS and exercise groups, and knee extension strength only in the exercise + AAS group (9.3% increase, P = .01). The odds ratio for leg muscle mass and knee extension strength improvement was more than four times as great in the exercise + AAS group (odds ratio = 4.89, 95% confidence interval = 1.89-11.27) as in the HE group. The data suggest that exercise and AAS together may be effective in enhancing not only muscle strength, but also combined variables of muscle mass and walking speed and of muscle mass and strength in sarcopenic women.
Article
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is an evolutionarily conserved serine/threonine protein kinase that regulates numerous cellular processes including cell growth, proliferation, cell cycle, and autophagy. mTOR forms two different multi-protein complexes referred to as mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) and mTORC2, and each complex exerts distinct functions exclusively. mTORC1 activity is sensitive to the selective inhibitor rapamycin, whereas mTORC2 is resistant. mTORC1 is regulated by many intra- and extra-cellular cues such as growth factors, nutrients, and energy-sensing signals, while mTORC2 senses ribosome maturation and growth factor signaling. This review focuses on current understandings by which mTORC1 pathway senses cellular nutrient availability for its activation.
Article
In the postabsorptive state, certain tissues, including the brain, require glucose as the sole source of energy. After an overnight fast, hepatic glycogen stores are depleted, and gluconeogenesis becomes essential for preventing life-threatening hypoglycemia. Mice with a targeted deletion of KLF15, a member of the Krüppel-like family of transcription factors, display severe hypoglycemia after an overnight (18 hr) fast. We provide evidence that defective amino acid catabolism promotes the development of fasting hypoglycemia in KLF15-/- mice by limiting gluconeogenic substrate availability. KLF15-/- liver and skeletal muscle show markedly reduced mRNA expression of amino acid-degrading enzymes. Furthermore, the enzymatic activity of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), which converts the critical gluconeogenic amino acid alanine into pyruvate, is decreased (approximately 50%) in KLF15-/- hepatocytes. Consistent with this observation, intraperitoneal injection of pyruvate, but not alanine, rescues fasting hypoglycemia in KLF15-/- mice. We conclude that KLF15 plays an important role in the regulation of gluconeogenesis.
Article
Maintenance of skeletal muscle mass relies on the dynamic balance between anabolic and catabolic processes and is important for motility, systemic energy homeostasis, and viability. We identified direct target genes of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in skeletal muscle, i.e., REDD1 and KLF15. As well as REDD1, KLF15 inhibits mTOR activity, but via a distinct mechanism involving BCAT2 gene activation. Moreover, KLF15 upregulates the expression of the E3 ubiquitin ligases atrogin-1 and MuRF1 genes and negatively modulates myofiber size. Thus, GR is a liaison involving a variety of downstream molecular cascades toward muscle atrophy. Notably, mTOR activation inhibits GR transcription function and efficiently counteracts the catabolic processes provoked by glucocorticoids. This mutually exclusive crosstalk between GR and mTOR, a highly coordinated interaction between the catabolic hormone signal and the anabolic machinery, may be a rational mechanism for fine-tuning of muscle volume and a potential therapeutic target for muscle wasting.
Article
Maintenance of skeletal muscle mass depends on the equilibrium between protein synthesis and protein breakdown; diminished functional demand during unloading breaks this balance and leads to muscle atrophy. The current study analyzed time-course alterations in regulatory genes and proteins in the unloaded soleus muscle and the effects of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation on muscle atrophy and abundance of molecules that regulate protein turnover. Short-term (6 days) hindlimb suspension of rats resulted in significant losses of myofibrillar proteins, total RNA, and rRNAs and pronounced atrophy of the soleus muscle. Muscle disuse induced upregulation and increases in the abundance of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1), increases in gene and protein amounts of two ubiquitin ligases (muscle RING-finger protein 1 and muscle atrophy F-box protein), and decreases in the expression of cyclin D1, the ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1, the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and ERK1/2. BCAA addition to the diet did not prevent muscle atrophy and had no apparent effect on regulators of proteasomal protein degradation. However, BCAA supplementation reduced the loss of myofibrillar proteins and RNA, attenuated the increases in 4E-BP1, and partially preserved cyclin D1, mTOR and ERK1 proteins. These results indicate that BCAA supplementation alone does not oppose protein degradation but partly preserves specific signal transduction proteins that act as regulators of protein synthesis and cell growth in the non-weight-bearing soleus muscle.
Article
Amino acids are required for activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase which regulates protein translation, cell growth, and autophagy. Cell surface transporters that allow amino acids to enter the cell and signal to mTOR are unknown. We show that cellular uptake of L-glutamine and its subsequent rapid efflux in the presence of essential amino acids (EAA) is the rate-limiting step that activates mTOR. L-glutamine uptake is regulated by SLC1A5 and loss of SLC1A5 function inhibits cell growth and activates autophagy. The molecular basis for L-glutamine sensitivity is due to SLC7A5/SLC3A2, a bidirectional transporter that regulates the simultaneous efflux of L-glutamine out of cells and transport of L-leucine/EAA into cells. Certain tumor cell lines with high basal cellular levels of L-glutamine bypass the need for L-glutamine uptake and are primed for mTOR activation. Thus, L-glutamine flux regulates mTOR, translation and autophagy to coordinate cell growth and proliferation.
Article
The aim of this study was to elucidate the effects of long-term intake of leucine in dietary protein malnutrition on muscle protein synthesis and degradation. A reduction in muscle mass was suppressed by leucine-supplementation (1.5% leucine) in rats fed protein-free diet for 7 days. Furthermore, the rate of muscle protein degradation was decreased without an increase in muscle protein synthesis. In addition, to elucidate the mechanism involved in the suppressive effect of leucine, we measured the activities of degradation systems in muscle. Proteinase activity (calpain and proteasome) and ubiquitin ligase mRNA (Atrogin-1 and MuRF1) expression were not suppressed in animals fed a leucine-supplemented diet, whereas the autophagy marker, protein light chain 3 active form (LC3-II), expression was significantly decreased. These results suggest that the protein-free diet supplemented with leucine suppresses muscle protein degradation through inhibition of autophagy rather than protein synthesis.
Article
Sepsis is associated with severe muscle wasting. Mechanisms responsible for sepsis-induced alterations in muscle protein metabolism were investigated in vivo and compared with changes induced by nonseptic inflammation. The rate of protein synthesis in mixed hindlimb muscles was not altered in inflammation but was inhibited 50% in sepsis. This inhibition did not result from a decreased RNA content. Instead, the translational efficiency was significantly reduced by 50% in skeletal muscle of septic animals compared with control. The effect of sepsis to lower the rate of protein synthesis was further examined using individual muscles containing different fiber types. Both the protein concentration and protein synthetic rate in fast-twitch muscles were reduced by sepsis, whereas neither of these parameters was affected in slow-twitch muscles or heart. The decreased translational efficiency did not result from a change in the rate of peptide-chain elongation. Instead, the sepsis-induced inhibition of protein synthesis resulted from a restraint in peptide-chain initiation because sepsis caused a 1.6-fold increase in free ribosomal subunits. Overall, sepsis, but not inflammation, caused an inhibition of protein synthesis primarily in muscles composed of fast-twitch fibers. The mechanism involved in the reduced rates of protein synthesis in muscles resulted from an inhibition of peptide-chain initiation, with no change in peptide-chain elongation.
Article
Exposure to conditions of weightlessness has been associated with decrements in muscle mass and strength. The present studies were undertaken to determine muscle responses at the cellular level. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (360-410 g) were exposed to 7 days of weightlessness during the Spacelab-3 shuttle flight (May 1985). Animals were killed 12 h postflight, and soleus (S), gastrocnemius (G), and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles were excised. Muscle protein, RNA, and DNA were extracted and quantified. Differential muscle atrophy was accompanied by a significant (P less than 0.05) reduction in total protein only in S muscles. There were no significant changes in protein concentration (mg/g) in the muscles examined. In S muscles from flight animals, sarcoplasmic protein accounted for a significantly greater proportion of total protein that in ground controls (37.5 vs. 32.5%). Tissue concentrations (nmol/g) of asparagine-aspartate, glutamine-glutamate, glycine, histidine, and lysine were significantly reduced (from 17 to 63%) in S muscles from flight animals, but only glutamine-glutamate levels were decreased in the G and EDL. Muscle DNA content (microgram) was unchanged in the tissues examined, but S muscle DNA concentration (micrograms/mg) increased 27%. RNA content (micrograms) was significantly (P less than 0.025) reduced in S (-28%) and G(-22%) muscles following spaceflight. These results identify specific alterations in rat skeletal muscle during short term (7-day) exposure to weightlessness and compare favorably with observations previously obtained from ground-based suspension simulations.
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate alterations in structural and functional properties in the soleus (SOL) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles of rats after 1, 2, and 5 wk of tail suspension. Maximal O2 uptake was 19% lower after 5 wk suspension. Loss of muscle mass was greater in SOL (63%) than in EDL (22%) muscle. A reduction of type I distribution was accompanied by an increase of intermediate fiber subgroups (int I in SOL, int II in EDL). The cross-sectional area of all three fiber types was reduced by hypokinesia. The decrease in capillaries per fiber in SOL was greater than the decrease in citrate synthase and 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase activities after 5 wk. No alteration in lactate dehydrogenase activity was noted. In EDL, no changes in fiber area, capillarization, and enzymatic activities occurred. Energy charge remained unchanged (0.91) whatever the muscle. These results suggest that type I fibers showed an earlier and greater susceptibility than type II fibers to suspension which is also accompanied by a decreased aerobic capacity.
Article
Myofibril disintegration in rat skeletal muscle fibers denervated at early stages of development is accompanied by increase in number and size of lysosomes with concomitant hypertrophy of the Golgi apparatus. Dense bodies, cuplike bodies, multivesicular bodies, and digestive vacuoles containing amorphous material are especially conspicuous in the denervated muscle cells. Autophagic vacuoles containing recognizable cytoplasmic components are also seen, but intact myofilaments are never found segregated within autophagic vacuoles. Acid phosphatase and aryl sulfatase activities are present, though not consistently, in the different lysosomal structures. Diffuse reaction product is never observed in preparations incubated for acid hydrolase activity. The findings suggest that myofibril disintegration in the course of denervation atrophy of skeletal muscles does not result from lysosomal activation, but is presumably initiated by extralysosomal mechanisms. On the other hand, it appears possible that the accumulation of degradation products arising from the breakdown of the myofibrils in the ground cytoplasm may stimulate lysosome formation and induce autophagic processes.
Article
Spaceflight (SF) has been shown to cause skeletal muscle atrophy; a loss in force and power; and, in the first few weeks, a preferential atrophy of extensors over flexors. The atrophy primarily results from a reduced protein synthesis that is likely triggered by the removal of the antigravity load. Contractile proteins are lost out of proportion to other cellular proteins, and the actin thin filament is lost disproportionately to the myosin thick filament. The decline in contractile protein explains the decrease in force per cross-sectional area, whereas the thin-filament loss may explain the observed postflight increase in the maximal velocity of shortening in the type I and IIa fiber types. Importantly, the microgravity-induced decline in peak power is partially offset by the increased fiber velocity. Muscle velocity is further increased by the microgravity-induced expression of fast-type myosin isozymes in slow fibers (hybrid I/II fibers) and by the increased expression of fast type II fiber types. SF increases the susceptibility of skeletal muscle to damage, with the actual damage elicited during postflight reloading. Evidence in rats indicates that SF increases fatigability and reduces the capacity for fat oxidation in skeletal muscles. Future studies will be required to establish the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the SF-induced muscle atrophy and functional loss and to develop effective exercise countermeasures.
Article
We examined the effects of a glucocorticoid, corticosterone, on calpain activity, connectin content and protein breakdown in rat muscle. The results indicated that calpain activity was increased by corticosterone and thus breakdown of connectin was stimulated followed by increased breakdown of skeletal muscle protein.
Article
Skeletal muscle adapts to decreases in activity and load by undergoing atrophy. To identify candidate molecular mediators of muscle atrophy, we performed transcript profiling. Although many genes were up-regulated in a single rat model of atrophy, only a small subset was universal in all atrophy models. Two of these genes encode ubiquitin ligases: Muscle RING Finger 1 (MuRF1), and a gene we designate Muscle Atrophy F-box(MAFbx), the latter being a member of the SCF family of E3 ubiquitin ligases. Overexpression of MAFbx in myotubes produced atrophy, whereas mice deficient in either MAFbx orMuRF1 were found to be resistant to atrophy. These proteins are potential drug targets for the treatment of muscle atrophy.
Article
Cancer-related cachexia is caused by a diverse combination of accelerated protein breakdown and slowed protein synthesis. The hypothesis proposed in this study is that supplementation of specific nutrients known to positively support protein synthesis and reduce protein breakdown will reverse the cachexia process in advanced cancer patients. Patients with solid tumors who had demonstrated a weight loss of at least 5% were considered for the study. Patients were randomly assigned in a double-blind fashion to either an isonitrogenous control mixture of nonessential amino acids or an experimental treatment containing beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (3 g/d), L-arginine (14 g/d), and L-glutamine (14 g/d [HMB/Arg/Gln]). The primary outcomes measured were the change in body mass and fat-free mass (FFM), which were assessed at 0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 weeks. Thirty-two patients (14 control, 18 HMB/Arg/Gln) were evaluated at the 4-week visit. The patients supplemented with HMB/Arg/Gln gained 0.95 +/- 0.66 kg of body mass in 4 weeks, whereas control subjects lost 0.26 +/- 0.78 kg during the same time period. This gain was the result of a significant increase in FFM in the HMB/Arg/Gln-supplemented group (1.12 +/- 0.68 kg), whereas the subjects supplemented with the control lost 1.34 +/- 0.78 kg of FFM (P = 0.02). The response to 24-weeks of supplementation was evaluated by an intent-to-treat statistical analysis. The effect of HMB/Arg/Gln on FFM increase was maintained over the 24 weeks (1.60 +/- 0.98 kg; quadratic contrast over time, P <0.05). There was no negative effect of treatment on the incidence of adverse effects or quality of life measures. The mixture of HMB/Arg/Gln was effective in increasing FFM of advanced (stage IV) cancer. The exact reasons for this improvement will require further investigation, but could be attributed to the observed effects of HMB on slowing rates of protein breakdown, with improvements in protein synthesis observed with arginine and glutamine.
Article
The target of rapamycin (TOR) proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, TOR1 and TOR2, redundantly regulate growth in a rapamycin-sensitive manner. TOR2 additionally regulates polarization of the actin cytoskeleton in a rapamycin-insensitive manner. We describe two functionally distinct TOR complexes. TOR Complex 1 (TORC1) contains TOR1 or TOR2, KOG1 (YHR186c), and LST8. TORC2 contains TOR2, AVO1 (YOL078w), AVO2 (YMR068w), AVO3 (YER093c), and LST8. FKBP-rapamycin binds TORC1, and TORC1 disruption mimics rapamycin treatment, suggesting that TORC1 mediates the rapamycin-sensitive, TOR-shared pathway. FKBP-rapamycin fails to bind TORC2, and TORC2 disruption causes an actin defect, suggesting that TORC2 mediates the rapamycin-insensitive, TOR2-unique pathway. Thus, the distinct TOR complexes account for the diversity, specificity, and selective rapamycin inhibition of TOR signaling. TORC1 and possibly TORC2 are conserved from yeast to man.
Article
Endotoxin (i.e., lipopolysaccharide, LPS) impairs skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Although this impairment is not acutely associated with a decreased plasma concentration of total amino acids, LPS may blunt the anabolic response to amino acids. To examine this hypothesis, rats were injected intraperitoneally with LPS or saline (Sal) and 4 h thereafter were orally administered either leucine (Leu) or Sal. The gastrocnemius was removed 20 min later to assess signaling components important in the translational control of protein synthesis. In the Sal-Leu group phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 in muscle was markedly increased, compared to values from time-matched saline-treated control rats. This change was associated with a redistribution of eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4E from the inactive eIF4E x 4E-BP1 complex to the active eIF4E x eIF4G complex. In LPS-treated rats, the Leu-induced phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and changes in eIF4E distribution were partially or completely abrogated. LPS also antagonized the Leu-induced increase in phosphorylation of S6K1, ribosomal protein S6 and mTOR. Neither LPS nor leu altered the total amount or phosphorylation of TSC2 in muscle. The ability of LPS to blunt the anabolic effects of Leu could not be attributed to differences in the plasma concentrations of insulin or Leu between groups. Furthermore, the replacement of plasma insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I in LPS-treated rats to basal levels also did not ameliorate the defect in leucine-induced phosphorylation of S6K1 or S6, although it did reverse the LPS-induced decrease in the constitutive phosphorylation of mTOR, S6 and 4E-BP1. Pretreatment with the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU486 was unable to prevent the LPS-induced leucine resistance. In contrast, to the abovementioned results with leucine, LPS did not prevent the ability of pharmacological levels of IGF-I to phosphorylate 4E-BP1, S6K1, mTOR or alter the availability of eIF4E. Hence, LPS working via a glucocorticoid-independent mechanism produces a leucine resistance in skeletal muscle that might be expected to impair the ability of this amino acid to stimulate translation initiation and protein synthesis.
Article
Loss of skeletal muscle is an important determinant of survival in patients with cancer-induced weight loss. The effect of the leucine metabolite beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) on the reduction of body weight loss and protein degradation in the MAC16 model of cancer-induced weight loss has been compared with that of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a recognized inhibitor of protein degradation. HMB was found to attenuate the development of weight loss at a dose greater than 0.125 g/kg accompanied by a small reduction in tumor growth rate. When EPA was used at a suboptimal dose level (0.6 g/kg) the combination with HMB seemed to enhance the anticachectic effect. Both treatments caused an increase in the wet weight of soleus muscle and a reduction in protein degradation, although there did not seem to be a synergistic effect of the combination. Proteasome activity, determined by the "chymotrypsin-like" enzyme activity, was attenuated by both HMB and EPA. Protein expression of the 20S alpha or beta subunits was reduced by at least 50%, as were the ATPase subunits MSS1 and p42 of the 19S proteasome regulatory subunit. This was accompanied by a reduction in the expression of E2(14k) ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme. The combination of EPA and HMB was at least as effective or more effective than either treatment alone. Attenuation of proteasome expression was reflected as a reduction in protein degradation in gastrocnemius muscle of cachectic mice treated with HMB. In addition, HMB produced a significant stimulation of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. These results suggest that HMB preserves lean body mass and attenuates protein degradation through down-regulation of the increased expression of key regulatory components of the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway, together with stimulation of protein synthesis.
Article
In animals, cells are dependent on extracellular signals to prevent apoptosis. However, using growth factor-dependent cells from Bax/Bak-deficient mice, we demonstrate that apoptosis is not essential to limit cell autonomous survival. Following growth factor withdrawal, Bax-/-Bak-/- cells activate autophagy, undergo progressive atrophy, and ultimately succumb to death. These effects result from loss of the ability to take up sufficient nutrients to maintain cellular bioenergetics. Despite abundant extracellular nutrients, growth factor-deprived cells maintain ATP production from catabolism of intracellular substrates through autophagy. Autophagy is essential for maintaining cell survival following growth factor withdrawal and can sustain viability for several weeks. During this time, cells respond to growth factor readdition by rapid restoration of the ability to take up and metabolize glucose and by subsequent recovery of their original size and proliferative potential. Thus, growth factor signal transduction is required to direct the utilization of sufficient exogenous nutrients to maintain cell viability.
Article
A variety of conditions lead to skeletal muscle atrophy including muscle inactivity or disuse, multiple disease states (i.e., cachexia), fasting, and age-associated atrophy (sarcopenia). Given the impact on mobility in the latter conditions, inactivity could contribute in a secondary manner to muscle atrophy. Because different events initiate atrophy in these different conditions, it seems that the regulation of protein loss may be unique in each case. In fact differences exist between the regulation of the various atrophy conditions, especially sarcopenia, as evidenced in part by comparisons of transcriptional profiles as well as by the unique triggering molecules found in each case. By contrast, recent studies have shown that many of the intracellular signaling molecules and target genes are similar, particularly among the atrophies related to inactivity and cachexia. This review focuses on the most recent findings related to intracellular signaling during muscle atrophy. Key findings are discussed that relate to signaling involving muscle ubiquitin ligases, the IGF/PI3K/Akt pathway, FOXO activity, caspase-3 activity, and NF-kappaB signaling, and an attempt is made to construct a unifying picture of how these data can be connected to better understand atrophy. Once more detailed cellular mechanisms of the atrophy process are understood, more specific interventions can be designed for the attenuation of protein loss.
Article
Malnutrition is a common problem among patients with cancer, affecting up to 85% of patients with certain cancers (e.g. pancreas). In severe cases, malnutrition can progress to cachexia, a specific form of malnutrition characterised by loss of lean body mass, muscle wasting, and impaired immune, physical and mental function. Cancer cachexia is also associated with poor response to therapy, increased susceptibility to treatment-related adverse events, as well as poor outcome and quality of life. Cancer cachexia is a complex, multifactorial syndrome, which is thought to result from the actions of both host- and tumour-derived factors, including cytokines involved in a systemic inflammatory response to the tumour. Early intervention with nutritional supplementation has been shown to halt malnutrition, and may improve outcome in some patients. However, increasing nutritional intake is insufficient to prevent the development of cachexia, reflecting the complex pathogenesis of this condition. Nutritional supplements containing anti-inflammatory agents, for example the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), have been shown to be more beneficial to malnourished patients than nutritional supplementation alone. EPA has been shown to interfere with multiple mechanisms implicated in the pathogenesis of cancer cachexia, and in clinical studies, has been associated with reversal of cachexia and improved survival.
Article
The goal of this investigation was to test specific exercise and nutrition countermeasures to lower limb skeletal muscle volume and strength losses during 60 days of simulated weightlessness (6 degrees head-down-tilt bed rest). Twenty-four women underwent bed rest only (BR, n = 8), bed rest and a concurrent exercise training countermeasure (thigh and calf resistance training and aerobic treadmill training; BRE, n = 8), or bed rest and a nutrition countermeasure (a leucine-enriched high protein diet; BRN, n = 8). Thigh (quadriceps femoris) muscle volume was decreased (P < 0.05) in BR (-21 +/- 1%) and BRN (-24 +/- 2%), with BRN losing more (P < 0.05) than BR. BRE maintained (P > 0.05) thigh muscle volume. Calf (triceps surae) muscle volume was decreased (P < 0.05) to a similar extent (P > 0.05) in BR (-29 +/- 1%) and BRN (-28 +/- 1%), and this decrease was attenuated (P < 0.05) in BRE (-8 +/- 2%). BR and BRN experienced large (P < 0.05) and similar (P > 0.05) decreases in isometric and dynamic (concentric force, eccentric force, power and work) muscle strength for supine squat (-19 to -33%) and calf press (-26 to -46%). BRE maintained (P > 0.05) or increased (P < 0.05) all measures of muscle strength. The nutrition countermeasure was not effective in offsetting lower limb muscle volume or strength loss, and actually promoted thigh muscle volume loss. The concurrent aerobic and resistance exercise protocol was effective at preventing thigh muscle volume loss, and thigh and calf muscle strength loss. While the exercise protocol offset approximately 75% of the calf muscle volume loss, modification of this regimen is needed.
Article
Excess levels of circulating amino acids (AAs) play a causal role in specific human pathologies, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, obesity and diabetes are contributing factors in the development of cancer, with recent studies suggesting that this link is mediated in part by AA activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) Complex 1. AAs appear to mediate this response through class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), or human vacuolar protein sorting 34 (hVps34), rather than through the canonical class I PI3K pathway used by growth factors and hormones. Here we show that AAs induce a rise in intracellular Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)), which triggers mTOR Complex 1 and hVps34 activation. We demonstrate that the rise in [Ca(2+)](i) increases the direct binding of Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM) to an evolutionarily conserved motif in hVps34 that is required for lipid kinase activity and increased mTOR Complex 1 signaling. These findings have important implications regarding the basic signaling mechanisms linking metabolic disorders with cancer progression.
Article
Muscle wasting in sepsis reflects activation of multiple proteolytic mechanisms, including lyosomal and ubiquitin-proteasome-dependent protein breakdown. Recent studies suggest that activation of the calpain system also plays an important role in sepsis-induced muscle wasting. Perhaps the most important consequence of calpain activation in skeletal muscle during sepsis is disruption of the sarcomere, allowing for the release of myofilaments (including actin and myosin) that are subsequently ubiquitinated and degraded by the 26S proteasome. Other important consequences of calpain activation that may contribute to muscle wasting during sepsis include degradation of certain transcription factors and nuclear cofactors, activation of the 26S proteasome, and inhibition of Akt activity, allowing for downstream activation of Foxo transcription factors and GSK-3beta. The role of calpain activation in sepsis-induced muscle wasting suggests that the calpain system may be a therapeutic target in the prevention and treatment of muscle wasting during sepsis. Furthermore, because calpain activation may also be involved in muscle wasting caused by other conditions, including different muscular dystrophies and cancer, calpain inhibitors may be beneficial not only in the treatment of sepsis-induced muscle wasting but in other conditions causing muscle atrophy as well.