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Endocrinology. 2004 Nov;145(11):4991-6. Epub 2004 Jul 22.

Akt phosphorylation is not sufficient for insulin-like growth factor-stimulated myogenin expression but must be accompanied by down-regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation.

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Department of Pediatrics, Box 0434, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0434, USA.


IGF-I has a unique biphasic effect on skeletal muscle differentiation. Initially, IGF-I inhibits expression of myogenin, a skeletal muscle-specific regulatory factor essential for myogenesis. Subsequently, IGF-I switches to stimulating expression of myogenin. The mechanisms that mediate this switch in IGF action are incompletely understood. Several laboratories have demonstrated that the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway is essential for myogenic differentiation and have suggested that this pathway mediates IGF-I stimulation of myogenin mRNA expression, an early critical step in the differentiation process. These studies, however, did not address concurrent Akt and MAPK/ERK1/2 phosphorylation, the latter of which is also known to regulate myogenic differentiation. In the present study in rat L6E9 muscle cells, we have manipulated ERK1/2 phosphorylation with either an upstream inhibitor or activator and examined concurrent levels of Akt and ERK1/2 phosphorylation and of myogenin mRNA expression in response to treatment with IGF-I. We find that even in the presence of phosphorylated Akt, it is only when ERK1/2 phosphorylation is inhibited that IGF-I can stimulate myogenin mRNA expression. Thus, although Akt phosphorylation may be necessary, it is not sufficient for induction of myogenic differentiation by IGF-I and must be accompanied by a decrease in ERK1/2 phosphorylation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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