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J Physiol. 2011 Apr 1;589(Pt 7):1831-46. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2011.205658. Epub 2011 Feb 7.

Early activation of mTORC1 signalling in response to mechanical overload is independent of phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt signalling.

Author information

1
Center for Muscle Biology, Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, 800 Rose Street, UKMC MS508, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.

Abstract

The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) functions as a central integrator of a wide range of signals that modulate protein metabolism and cell growth. However, the contributions of individual pathways regulating mTORC1 activity in skeletal muscle are poorly defined. The purpose of this study was to determine the regulatory mechanisms that contribute to mTORC1 activation during mechanical overload-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Consistent with previous studies, mechanical overload induced progressive hypertrophy of the plantaris muscle which was associated with significant increases in total RNA content and protein metabolism. mTORC1 was activated after a single day of overload as indicated by a significant increase in S6K1 phosphorylation at T389 and T421/S424. In contrast, Akt activity, as assessed by Akt phosphorylation status (T308 and S473), phosphorylation of direct downstream targets (glycogen synthase kinase 3 β, proline-rich Akt substrate 40 kDa and tuberous sclerosis 2 (TSC2)) and a kinase assay, was not significantly increased until 2–3 days of overload. Inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) activity by wortmannin was sufficient to block insulin-dependent signalling but did not prevent the early activation of mTORC1 in response to overload. We identified that the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-dependent pathway was activated at day 1 after overload. In addition, a target of MEK/ERK signalling, phosphorylation of TSC2 at S664, was also increased at this early time point. These observations demonstrate that in vivo, mTORC1 activation at the early phase of mechanical overload in skeletal muscle occurs independently of PI3K/Akt signalling and provide evidence that the MEK/ERK pathway may contribute to mTORC1 activation through phosphorylation of TSC2.

PMID:
21300751
PMCID:
PMC3099033
DOI:
10.1113/jphysiol.2011.205658
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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