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Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2011 Jan 1;16:1445-60.

Regulation of protein synthesis by amino acids in muscle of neonates.

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United States Department Of Agriculture/Agriculture Research Service, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


The marked increase in skeletal muscle mass during the neonatal period is largely due to a high rate of postprandial protein synthesis that is modulated by an enhanced sensitivity to insulin and amino acids. The amino acid signaling pathway leading to the stimulation of protein synthesis has not been fully elucidated. Among the amino acids, leucine is considered to be a principal anabolic agent that regulates protein synthesis. mTORC1, which controls protein synthesis, has been implicated as a target for leucine. Until recently, there have been few studies exploring the role of amino acids in enhancing muscle protein synthesis in vivo. In this review, we discuss amino acid-induced protein synthesis in muscle in the neonate, focusing on current knowledge of the role of amino acids in the activation of mTORC1 leading to mRNA translation. The role of the amino acid transporters, SNAT2, LAT1, and PAT, in the modulation of mTORC1 activation and the role of amino acids in the activation of putative regulators of mTORC1, i.e., raptor, Rheb, MAP4K3, Vps34, and Rag GTPases, are discussed.

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