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Br J Nutr. 2001 Apr;85(4):447-57.

Activation of skeletal muscle protein breakdown following consumption of soyabean protein in pigs.

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Research Institute for Biology of Farm Animals, Dummerstorf-Rostock, Department of Animal Nutrition, Germany.


Diets with protein of inferior quality may increase protein breakdown in skeletal muscle but the experimental results are inconsistent. To elucidate the relationship, pigs were fed isoenergetic and isonitrogenous diets based on soyabean-protein isolate or casein for 15 weeks, with four to six animals per group. A higher plasma level of urea (2.5-fold the casein group value, P = 0.01), higher urinary N excretion (2.1-fold the casein group value, P = 0.01), a postabsorptive rise in the plasma levels of urea, 3-methylhistidine and isoleucine in soyabean protein-fed pigs suggested recruitment of circulatory amino acids by protein breakdown in peripheral tissues. Significant differences between dietary groups were detected in lysosomal and ATP-dependent proteolytic activities in the semimembranosus muscle of food-deprived pigs. A higher concentration of cathepsin B protein was found, corresponding to a rise in the cathepsin B activity, in response to dietary soyabean protein. Muscle ATP-stimulated proteolytical activity was 1.6-fold the casein group value (P = 0.03). A transient rise in the level of cortisol (2.9-times the casein group value, P = 0.02) occurred in the postprandial phase only in the soyabean group. These data suggest that the inferior quality of dietary soyabean protein induces hormonally-mediated upregulation of muscle protein breakdown for recruitment of circulatory amino acids in a postabsorptive state.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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