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Cell Signal. 2011 Dec;23(12):1896-906. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2011.07.013. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

Recent progress toward understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle mass.

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Department of Comparative Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The maintenance of muscle mass is critical for health and issues associated with the quality of life. Over the last decade, extensive progress has been made with regard to our understanding of the molecules that regulate skeletal muscle mass. Not surprisingly, many of these molecules are intimately involved in the regulation of protein synthesis and protein degradation [e.g. the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), eukaryotic initiation factor 2B (eIF2B), eukaryotic initiation factor 3f (eIF3f) and the forkhead box O (FoxO) transcription factors]. It is also becoming apparent that molecules which sense, or control, the energetic status of the cell play a key role in the regulation of muscle mass [e.g. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1 α (PGC1α)]. In this review we will attempt to summarize the current knowledge of how these molecules regulate skeletal muscle mass.

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