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J Biol Chem. 2008 Apr 11;283(15):10208-20. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M710604200. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

Functional role of sortilin in myogenesis and development of insulin-responsive glucose transport system in C2C12 myocytes.

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  • 121st Century COE program Comprehensive Research and Education Center for Planning of Drug Development and Clinical Evaluation, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


Sortilin has been implicated in the formation of insulin-responsive GLUT4 storage vesicles in adipocytes by regulating sorting events between the trans-Golgi-network and endosomes. We herein show that sortilin serves as a potent myogenic differentiation stimulator for C2C12 myocytes by cooperatively functioning with p75NTR, which subsequently further contributes to development of the insulin-responsive glucose transport system in C2C12 myotubes. Sortilin expression was up-regulated upon C2C12 differentiation, and overexpression of sortilin in C2C12 cells significantly stimulated myogenic differentiation, a response that was completely abolished by either anti-p75NTR- or anti-nerve growth factor (NGF)-neutralizing antibodies. Importantly, small interference RNA-mediated suppression of endogenous sortilin significantly inhibited C2C12 differentiation, indicating the physiological significance of sortilin expression in the process of myogenesis. Although sortilin overexpression in C2C12 myotubes improved insulin-induced 2-deoxyglucose uptake, as previously reported, this effect apparently resulted from a decrease in the cellular content of GLUT1 and an increase in GLUT4 via differentiation-dependent alterations at both the gene transcriptional and the post-translational level. In addition, cellular contents of Ubc9 and SUMO-modified proteins appeared to be increased by sortilin overexpression. Taken together, these data demonstrate that sortilin is involved not only in development of the insulin-responsive glucose transport system in myocytes, but is also directly involved in muscle differentiation via modulation of proNGF-p75NTR.

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