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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Mar;296(3):E567-72. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.90862.2008. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

Stimulation of skeletal muscle myofibrillar protein synthesis, p70 S6 kinase phosphorylation, and ribosomal protein S6 phosphorylation by inhibition of myostatin in mature mice.

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  • 1University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Knocking out myostatin activity during development increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis. The present study was done to determine whether postdevelopmental loss of myostatin activity stimulates myofibrillar protein synthesis and the phosphorylation of some of the proteins involved in regulation of protein synthesis rate. Myostatin activity was inhibited for 4 days, in 4- to 5-mo-old male mice, with injections of an anti-myostatin antibody (JA16). The mean myofibrillar synthesis rate increased 19% (P < 0.01) relative to the mean rate in saline-treated mice, as determined by incorporation of deuterium-labeled phenylalanine. JA16 increased phosphorylation of p70 S6 kinase (S6K) and ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) 1.9-fold (P < 0.05). It did not affect phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein-1 or Akt. Microarrays and real-time PCR analyses indicated that JA16 administration did not selectively enrich levels of mRNAs encoding myofibrillar proteins, ribosomal proteins, or translation initiation and elongation factors. Rapamycin treatment did not affect the rate of myofibrillar protein synthesis whether or not the mice received JA16 injections, although it eliminated the phosphorylation of S6K and rpS6. We conclude that the normal level of myostatin activity in mature muscle is sufficient to inhibit myofibrillar synthesis rate and phosphorylation of S6K and rpS6. Reversal of the inhibition of myofibrillar synthesis with an anti-myostatin antibody is not dependent on mTOR activation.

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