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BMC Cell Biol. 2013 Sep 21;14:39. doi: 10.1186/1471-2121-14-39.

Suppression of protein kinase C theta contributes to enhanced myogenesis in vitro via IRS1 and ERK1/2 phosphorylation.

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  • 1Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, OH 43614, USA. JenniferW.Hill@utoledo.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Differentiation and fusion of skeletal muscle myoblasts into multi-nucleated myotubes is required for neonatal development and regeneration in adult skeletal muscle. Herein, we report novel findings that protein kinase C theta (PKCθ) regulates myoblast differentiation via phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 and ERK1/2.

RESULTS:

In this study, PKCθ knockdown (PKCθshRNA) myotubes had reduced inhibitory insulin receptor substrate-1 ser1095 phosphorylation, enhanced myoblast differentiation and cell fusion, and increased rates of protein synthesis as determined by [3H] phenylalanine incorporation. Phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 ser632/635 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2) was increased in PKCθshRNA cells, with no change in ERK5 phosphorylation, highlighting a PKCθ-regulated myogenic pathway. Inhibition of PI3-kinase prevented cell differentiation and fusion in control cells, which was attenuated in PKCθshRNA cells. Thus, with reduced PKCθ, differentiation and fusion occur in the absence of PI3-kinase activity. Inhibition of the ERK kinase, MEK1/2, impaired differentiation and cell fusion in control cells. Differentiation was preserved in PKCθshRNA cells treated with a MEK1/2 inhibitor, although cell fusion was blunted, indicating PKCθ regulates differentiation via IRS1 and ERK1/2, and this occurs independently of MEK1/2 activation.

CONCLUSION:

Cellular signaling regulating the myogenic program and protein synthesis are complex and intertwined. These studies suggest that PKCθ regulates myogenic and protein synthetic signaling via the modulation of IRS1and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Myotubes lacking PKCθ had increased rates of protein synthesis and enhanced myotube development despite reduced activation of the canonical anabolic-signaling pathway. Further investigation of PKCθ regulated signaling may reveal important interactions regulating skeletal muscle health in an insulin resistant state.

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