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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2013 Sep 15;305(6):C643-53. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00003.2013. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Elevated nuclear Foxo1 suppresses excitability of skeletal muscle fibers.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Erratum in

  • Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2014 Jan 1;306(1):C76.

Abstract

Forkhead box O 1 (Foxo1) controls the expression of proteins that carry out processes leading to skeletal muscle atrophy, making Foxo1 of therapeutic interest in conditions of muscle wasting. The transcription of Foxo1-regulated proteins is dependent on the translocation of Foxo1 to the nucleus, which can be repressed by insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) treatment. The role of Foxo1 in muscle atrophy has been explored at length, but whether Foxo1 nuclear activity affects skeletal muscle excitation-contraction (EC) coupling has not yet been examined. Here, we use cultured adult mouse skeletal muscle fibers to investigate the effects of Foxo1 overexpression on EC coupling. Fibers expressing Foxo1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) exhibit an inability to contract, impaired propagation of action potentials, and ablation of calcium transients in response to electrical stimulation compared with fibers expressing GFP alone. Evaluation of the transverse (T)-tubule system morphology, the membranous system involved in the radial propagation of the action potential, revealed an intact T-tubule network in fibers overexpressing Foxo1-GFP. Interestingly, long-term IGF-1 treatment of Foxo1-GFP fibers, which maintains Foxo1-GFP outside the nucleus, prevented the loss of normal calcium transients, indicating that Foxo1 translocation and the atrogenes it regulates affect the expression of proteins involved in the generation and/or propagation of action potentials. A reduction in the sodium channel Nav1.4 expression in fibers overexpressing Foxo1-GFP was also observed in the absence of IGF-1. We conclude that increased nuclear activity of Foxo1 prevents the normal muscle responses to electrical stimulation and that this indicates a novel capability of Foxo1 to disable the functional activity of skeletal muscle.

KEYWORDS:

Foxo1-GFP; calcium transients; excitability; skeletal muscle; voltage-gated sodium channel

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