Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Cancer. 1998 Oct;78(7):850-6.

Mechanism of muscle protein degradation induced by a cancer cachectic factor.

Author information

Pharmaceutical Sciences Institute, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.


A proteolysis-inducing factor (PIF) isolated from a cachexia-inducing murine tumour (MAC16) produced a decrease in body weight (1.6 g, P < or = 0.01 compared with control subjects) within 24 h after i.v. administration to non-tumour-bearing mice. Weight loss was associated with significant decreases in the weight of the spleen and soleus and gastrocnemius muscles, with no effect on the weight of the heart or kidney and with an increase in weight of the liver. Protein degradation in isolated soleus muscle was significantly increased in mice bearing the MAC16 tumour. To define which proteolytic pathways contribute to this increase, soleus muscles from mice bearing the MAC16 tumour and non-tumour-bearing animals administered PIF were incubated under conditions that modify different proteolytic systems. In mice bearing the MAC16 tumour, there were increases in both cathepsin B and L, and the Ca2+-dependent lysosomal and ATP-dependent pathways were found to contribute to the increased proteolysis; whereas, in PIF-injected animals, there was activation only of the ATP-dependent pathway. Further studies in mice bearing the MAC16 tumour have provided evidence for increased levels of ubiquitin-conjugated proteins and increased mRNA levels for the 14 kDa ubiquitin carrier protein E2 and the C9 proteasome subunit in gastrocnemius muscle, suggesting activation of the ATP-ubiquitin-dependent proteolytic pathway. A monoclonal antibody to PIF attenuated the enhanced protein degradation in soleus muscle from mice bearing the MAC16 tumour, confirming that PIF is responsible for the loss of skeletal muscle in cachectic mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center