Experimental hyperthyroidism in rats increases the expression of the ubiquitin ligases atrogin-1 and MuRF1 and stimulates multiple proteolytic pathways in skeletal muscle

Patrick O'Neal, Nima Alamdari, Ira Smith, Vitaliy Poylin, Michael Menconi, Per Olof Hasselgren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Muscle wasting is commonly seen in patients with hyperthyroidism and is mainly caused by stimulated muscle proteolysis. Loss of muscle mass in several catabolic conditions is associated with increased expression of the muscle-specific ubiquitin ligases atrogin-1 and MuRF1 but it is not known if atrogin-1 and MuRF1 are upregulated in hyperthyroidism. In addition, it is not known if thyroid hormone increases the activity of proteolytic mechanisms other than the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. We tested the hypotheses that experimental hyperthyroidism in rats, induced by daily intraperitoneal injections of 100 mg/100 g body weight of triiodothyronine (T3), upregulates the expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1 in skeletal muscle and stimulates lysosomal, including cathepsin L, calpain-, and caspase-3-dependent protein breakdown in addition to proteasome-dependent protein breakdown. Treatment of rats with T3 for 3 days resulted in an approximately twofold increase in atrogin-1 and MuRF1 mRNA levels. The same treatment increased proteasome-, cathepsin L-, and calpain-dependent proteolytic rates by approximately 40% but did not influence caspase-3-dependent proteolysis. The expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1 remained elevated during a more prolonged period (7 days) of T3 treatment. The results provide support for a role of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in muscle wasting during hyperthyroidism and suggest that other proteolytic pathways as well may be activated in the hyperthyroid state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-973
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Volume108
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

Keywords

  • Muscle atrophy
  • Muscle wasting
  • Proteasome
  • Protein breakdown
  • Protein degradation
  • Thyroid hormone
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Ubiquitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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