Coordinated patterns of gene expressions for adult muscle build-up in transgenic mice expressing myostatin propeptide.
ABSTRACT: Skeletal muscle growth and maintenance are essential for human health. One of the muscle regulatory genes, namely myostatin, a member of transforming growth factor-beta, plays a dominant role in the genetic control of muscle mass. Myostatin is synthesized as a precursor protein, which generates the N-terminal propeptide and the C-terminal mature myostatin peptide by a post-translational cleavage event. Previously, transgenic over-expression of myostatin propeptide in skeletal muscle results in significant muscle growth in early stages of development. The objectives of present study were to further characterize muscle growth in later stages of life and to identify genes and their expression patterns that are responsible for adult muscle build-up by myostatin propeptide.Immunohistochemical staining with an antibody to the N-terminus indicates a high level of myostatin propeptide present in the muscles of transgenic mice while there were no apparent differences in myostatin protein distribution in the muscle fibers between the transgenic and wild-type mice. Main individual muscles increased by 76-152% in the transgenic mice over their wild-type littermate mice at 12 months of age. A large number of nuclei were localized in the central and basal lamina of the myofibers in the transgenic mice as the number of nuclei per fiber and 100 microm(2) area was significantly higher in transgenic mice than wild-type mice. By systemic comparisons of global mRNA expression patterns between transgenic mice and wild-type littermates using microarray and qRT-PCR techniques, we have identified distinct gene expression patterns to support adult muscle build-up by myostatin propeptide, which are comprised of enhanced expressions of myogenic regulatory factors and extracelullar matrix components, and differentially down-regulated expressions of genes related to protein degradation and mitochondrial ATP synthesis.The results present a coordinated pattern of gene expressions for reduced energy utilization during muscle build-up in adult stage. Enhanced muscle buildup by myostatin propeptide is sustained by reduced ATP synthesis as a result of a decreased activity of protein degradation. Myostatin propeptide may have a therapeutic application to the treatment of clinical muscle wasting problems by depressing myostatin activity.
Project description:Myostatin, a transforming growth factor-? family member, is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle development and growth. Piedmontese cattle breeds have a missense mutation, which results in a cysteine to tyrosine substitution in the mature myostatin protein (C313Y). This loss-of-function mutation in myostatin results in a double-muscled phenotype in cattle. Myostatin propeptide is an inhibitor of myostatin activity and is considered a potential agent to stimulate muscle growth in livestock. In this study, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing porcine myostatin missense mutant (pmMS), C313Y, and wild-type porcine myostatin propeptide (ppMS), respectively, to examine their effects on muscle growth in mice. Enhanced muscle growth was observed in both pmMS and ppMS transgenic female mice and also in ppMS transgenic male mice. However, there was no enhanced muscle growth observed in pmMS transgenic male mice. To explore why there is such a big difference in muscle growth between pmMS and ppMS transgenic male mice, the expression level of androgen receptor (AR) mutant AR45 was measured by Western blot. Results indicated that AR45 expression significantly increased in pmMS transgenic male mice while it decreased dramatically in ppMS transgenic male mice. Our data demonstrate that both pmMS and ppMS act as myostatin inhibitors in the regulation of muscle growth, but the effect of pmMS in male mice is reversed by an increased AR45 expression. These results provide useful insight and basic theory to future studies on improving pork quality by genetically manipulating myostatin expression or by regulating myostatin activity.
Project description:Loss of muscle and bone mass with age are significant contributors to falls and fractures among the elderly. Myostatin deficiency is associated with increased muscle mass in mice, dogs, cows, sheep and humans, and mice lacking myostatin have been observed to show increased bone density in the limb, spine, and jaw. Transgenic overexpression of myostatin propeptide, which binds to and inhibits the active myostatin ligand, also increases muscle mass and bone density in mice. We therefore sought to test the hypothesis that in vivo inhibition of myostatin using an injectable myostatin propeptide (GDF8 propeptide-Fc) would increase both muscle mass and bone density in aged (24 mo) mice. Male mice were injected weekly (20 mg/kg body weight) with recombinant myostatin propeptide-Fc (PRO) or vehicle (VEH; saline) for four weeks. There was no difference in body weight between the two groups at the end of the treatment period, but PRO treatment significantly increased mass of the tibialis anterior muscle (+ 7%) and increased muscle fiber diameter of the extensor digitorum longus (+ 16%) and soleus (+ 6%) muscles compared to VEH treatment. Bone volume relative to total volume (BV/TV) of the femur calculated by microCT did not differ significantly between PRO- and VEH-treated mice, and ultimate force (Fu), stiffness (S), toughness (U) measured from three-point bending tests also did not differ significantly between groups. Histomorphometric assays also revealed no differences in bone formation or resorption in response to PRO treatment. These data suggest that while developmental perturbation of myostatin signaling through either gene knockout or transgenic inhibition may alter both muscle and bone mass in mice, pharmacological inhibition of myostatin in aged mice has a more pronounced effect on skeletal muscle than on bone.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an imperative role in cell proliferation, differentiation, and cell metabolism through regulation of gene expression. Skeletal muscle hypertrophy that results from myostatin depression by its propeptide provides an interesting model to understand how miRNA transcriptome is involved in myostatin-based fiber hypertrophy. This study employed Solexa deep sequencing followed by Q-PCR methods to analyze miRNA transcriptome of skeletal muscle of myostatin propeptide transgenic mice in comparison with their littermate controls. A total of 461 mature known and 69 novel miRNAs were reported from this study. Fifty-seven miRNAs were expressed differentially between transgenic and littermate controls, of which most abundant miRNAs, miR-133a and 378a, were significantly differentially expressed. Expression profiling was validated on 8 known and 2 novel miRNAs. The miRNA targets prediction and pathway analysis showed that FST, SMAD3, TGFBR1, and AcvR1a genes play a vital role in skeletal muscle hypertrophy in the myostatin propeptide transgenic mice. It is predicted that miR-101 targeted to TGFBR1 and SMAD3, miR-425 to TGFBR2 and FST, and miR-199a to AcvR2a and TGF-? genes. In conclusion, the study offers initial miRNA profiling and methodology of miRNA targets prediction for myostatin-based hypertrophy. These differentially expressed miRNAs are proposed as candidate miRNAs for skeletal muscle hypertrophy.
Project description:Myostatin (MSTN), a member of the transforming growth factor-? superfamily, plays a crucial negative role in muscle growth. MSTN mutations or inhibitions can dramatically increase muscle mass in most mammal species. Previously, we generated a transgenic mouse model of muscle hypertrophy via the transgenic expression of the MSTN N-terminal propeptide cDNA under the control of the skeletal muscle-specific MLC1 promoter. Here, we compare the mRNA profiles between transgenic mice and wild-type littermate controls with a high-throughput RNA sequencing method. The results show that 132 genes were significantly differentially expressed between transgenic mice and wild-type control mice; 97 of these genes were up-regulated, and 35 genes were down-regulated in the skeletal muscle. Several genes that had not been reported to be involved in muscle hypertrophy were identified, including up-regulated myosin binding protein H (mybph), and zinc metallopeptidase STE24 (Zmpste24). In addition, kyphoscoliosis peptidase (Ky), which plays a vital role in muscle growth, was also up-regulated in the transgenic mice. Interestingly, a pathway analysis based on grouping the differentially expressed genes uncovered that cardiomyopathy-related pathways and phosphatidic acid (PA) pathways (Dgki, Dgkz, Plcd4) were up-regulated. Increased PA signaling may increase mTOR signaling, resulting in skeletal muscle growth. The findings of the RNA sequencing analysis help to understand the molecular mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy caused by MSTN inhibition.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Myostatin, a member of the TGF? superfamily, is well known as a potent and specific negative regulator of muscle growth. Targeting the myostatin signalling pathway may offer promising therapeutic strategies for the treatment of muscle-wasting disorders. In the last decade, various myostatin-binding proteins have been identified to be able to inhibit myostatin activity. One of these is GASP1 (Growth and Differentiation Factor-Associated Serum Protein-1), a protein containing a follistatin domain as well as multiple domains associated with protease inhibitors. Despite in vitro data, remarkably little is known about in vivo functions of Gasp1. To further address the role of GASP1 during mouse development and in adulthood, we generated a gain-of-function transgenic mouse model that overexpresses Gasp1 under transcriptional control of the human cytomegalovirus immediate-early promoter/enhancer. RESULTS:Overexpression of Gasp1 led to an increase in muscle mass observed not before day 15 of postnatal life. The surGasp1 transgenic mice did not display any other gross abnormality. Histological and morphometric analysis of surGasp1 rectus femoris muscles revealed an increase in myofiber size without a corresponding increase in myofiber number. Fiber-type distribution was unaltered. Interestingly, we do not detect a change in total fat mass and lean mass. These results differ from those for myostatin knockout mice, transgenic mice overexpressing the myostatin propeptide or follistatin which exhibit both muscle hypertrophy and hyperplasia, and show minimal fat deposition. CONCLUSIONS:Altogether, our data give new insight into the in vivo functions of Gasp1. As an extracellular regulatory factor in the myostatin signalling pathway, additional studies on GASP1 and its homolog GASP2 are required to elucidate the crosstalk between the different intrinsic inhibitors of the myostatin.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) is a member of the transforming growth factor β superfamily. The GDF11 propeptide, which is derived from the GDF11 precursor protein, blocks the activity of GDF11 and its homolog, myostatin, which are both potent inhibitors of muscle growth. Thus, treatment with GDF11 propeptide may be a potential therapeutic strategy for diseases associated with muscle atrophy like sarcopenia and the muscular dystrophies. Here, we evaluate the impact of GDF11 propeptide-Fc (GDF11PRO-Fc) gene delivery on skeletal muscle in normal and dystrophic adult mice. METHODS:A pull-down assay was used to obtain physical confirmation of a protein-protein interaction between GDF11PRO-Fc and GDF11 or myostatin. Next, differentiated C2C12 myotubes were treated with AAV6-GDF11PRO-Fc and challenged with GDF11 or myostatin to determine if GDF11PRO-Fc could block GDF11/myostatin-induced myotube atrophy. Localized expression of GDF11PRO-Fc was evaluated via a unilateral intramuscular injection of AAV9-GDF11PRO-Fc into the hindlimb of C57BL/6J mice. In mdx mice, intravenous injection of AAV9-GDF11PRO-Fc was used to achieve systemic expression. The impact of GDF11PRO-Fc on muscle mass, function, and pathological features were assessed. RESULTS:GDF11PRO-Fc was observed to bind both GDF11 and myostatin. In C2C12 myotubes, expression of GDF11PRO-Fc was able to mitigate GDF11/myostatin-induced atrophy. Following intramuscular injection in C57BL/6J mice, increased grip strength and localized muscle hypertrophy were observed in the injected hindlimb after 10 weeks. In mdx mice, systemic expression of GDF11PRO-Fc resulted in skeletal muscle hypertrophy without a significant change in cardiac mass after 12 weeks. In addition, grip strength and rotarod latency time were improved. Intramuscular fibrosis was also reduced in treated mdx mice; however, there was no change seen in central nucleation, membrane permeability to serum IgG or serum creatine kinase levels. CONCLUSIONS:GDF11PRO-Fc induces skeletal muscle hypertrophy and improvements in muscle strength via inhibition of GDF11/myostatin signaling. However, GDF11PRO-Fc does not significantly improve the dystrophic pathology in mdx mice.
Project description:Myostatin is an important negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. The hypermuscular Compact (Cmpt) mice carry a 12-bp natural mutation in the myostatin propeptide, with additional modifier genes being responsible for the phenotype. Muscle cellularity of the fast-type tibialis anterior (TA) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) as well as the mixed-type soleus (SOL) muscles of Cmpt and wild-type mice was examined by immunohistochemical staining of the myosin heavy chain (MHC) proteins. In addition, transcript levels of MHC isoforms were quantified by qPCR. Based on our results, all investigated muscles of Cmpt mice were significantly larger compared with that of wild-type mice, as characterized by fiber hyperplasia of different grades. Fiber hypertrophy was not present in TA; however, EDL muscles showed specific IIB fiber hypertrophy while the (I and IIA) fibers of SOL muscles were generally hypertrophied. Both the fast TA and EDL muscles of Cmpt mice contained significantly more glycolytic IIB fibers accompanied by a decreased number of IIX and IIA fibers; however, this was not the case for SOL muscles. In summary, despite the variances found in muscle cellularity between the different myostatin mutant mice, similar glycolytic shifts were observed in Cmpt fast muscles as in muscles from myostatin knockout mice.
Project description:Myostatin (MSTN) is a well-known negative growth factor of muscle mass, and studies have shown that MSTN-inhibition would be a potential strategy to treat muscle atrophy seen in various clinical conditions. Recent studies suggest that MSTN-inhibition induces skeletal muscle hypertrophy through up-regulation of the anabolic Akt/mTOR pathway. Therefore, it was hypothesized that the muscle hypertrophy induced by MSTN-inhibition would be suppressed by the administration of rapamycin (RAP), a mTOR suppressor. A MSTN transgenic mouse strain (MSTN-pro), which is characterized by a postnatal hyper-muscularity due to MSTN inhibition through transgenic overexpression of MSTN propeptide, was used in producing experimental animals. Five-week-old male heterozygous MSTN-pro mice and wild-type littermates were administered with 0 or 3 mg/kg body weight of RAP intraperitoneally every other day for 4 weeks. The effects of RAP on muscle growth, mRNA abundance of signaling components of the Akt/mTOR pathway, and myogenic regulatory factors (MyoD, Myf5, MyoG, and Mrf4) were examined in comparison to wild-type mice. Body weight gain of MSTN-pro mice was significantly greater than that of wild-type mice. RAP suppressed body weight gain and muscle mass in both MSTN-pro and wild-type mice. The extent of both body weight and muscle mass suppression was significantly greater in MSTN-pro mice than in wild-type mice. Real-time qPCR analysis showed that mRNA abundance of the signaling molecules of the Akt/mTOR pathway, including Akt, p70S6K, and 4E-BP1, were significantly higher in MSTN-pro mice. RAP treatment decreased mRNA abundance of Akt, p70S6K and 4E-BP1 only in MSTN-pro mice. mRNA abundances of MyoD and MyoG were not affected by MSTN suppression or RAP treatment. mRNA abundance of Myf5 was decreased by RAP, but not affected by MSTN suppression. mRNA abundance of Mrf4 was decreased by MSTN suppression. RAP treatment decreased mRNA abundance of Mrf4 only in wild type mice. Results of this study indicate that transcriptional regulation of signaling components of the Akt/mTOR pathway and myogenic regulatory transcription factor Mrf4 is involved in the enhancement of skeletal muscle mass induced by MSTN suppression.
Project description:Recovery from skeletal muscle injury is often incomplete because of the formation of fibrosis and inadequate myofiber regeneration; therefore, injured muscle could benefit significantly from therapies that both stimulate muscle regeneration and inhibit fibrosis. To this end, we focused on blocking myostatin, a member of the transforming growth factor-? superfamily and a negative regulator of muscle regeneration, with the myostatin antagonist follistatin. In vivo, follistatin-overexpressing transgenic mice underwent significantly greater myofiber regeneration and had less fibrosis formation compared with wild-type mice after skeletal muscle injury. Follistatin's mode of action is likely due to its ability to block myostatin and enhance neovacularization. Furthermore, muscle progenitor cells isolated from follistatin-overexpressing mice were significantly superior to muscle progenitors isolated from wild-type mice at regenerating dystrophin-positive myofibers when transplanted into the skeletal muscle of dystrophic mdx/severe combined immunodeficiency mice. In vitro, follistatin stimulated myoblasts to express MyoD, Myf5, and myogenin, which are myogenic transcription factors that promote myogenic differentiation. Moreover, follistatin's ability to enhance muscle differentiation is at least partially due to its ability to block myostatin, activin A, and transforming growth factor-?1, all of which are negative regulators of muscle cell differentiation. The findings of this study suggest that follistatin is a promising agent for improving skeletal muscle healing after injury and muscle diseases, such as the muscular dystrophies.
Project description:Myostatin, a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth, is produced from myostatin precursor by multiple steps of proteolytic processing. After cleavage by a furin-type protease, the propeptide and growth factor domains remain associated, forming a noncovalent complex, the latent myostatin complex. Mature myostatin is liberated from latent myostatin by bone morphogenetic protein 1/tolloid proteases. Here, we show that, in reporter assays, latent myostatin preparations have significant myostatin activity, as the noncovalent complex dissociates at an appreciable rate, and both mature and semilatent myostatin (a complex in which the dimeric growth factor domain interacts with only one molecule of myostatin propeptide) bind to myostatin receptor. The interaction of myostatin receptor with semilatent myostatin is efficiently blocked by WAP, Kazal, immunoglobulin, Kunitz and NTR domain-containing protein 1 or growth and differentiation factor-associated serum protein 2 (WFIKKN1), a large extracellular multidomain protein that binds both mature myostatin and myostatin propeptide [Kondás et al. (2008) J Biol Chem 283, 23677-23684]. Interestingly, the paralogous protein WAP, Kazal, immunoglobulin, Kunitz and NTR domain-containing protein 2 or growth and differentiation factor-associated serum protein 1 (WFIKKN2) was less efficient than WFIKKN1 as an antagonist of the interactions of myostatin receptor with semilatent myostatin. Our studies have shown that this difference is attributable to the fact that only WFIKKN1 has affinity for the propeptide domain, and this interaction increases its potency in suppressing the receptor-binding activity of semilatent myostatin. As the interaction of WFIKKN1 with various forms of myostatin permits tighter control of myostatin activity until myostatin is liberated from latent myostatin by bone morphogenetic protein 1/tolloid proteases, WFIKKN1 may have greater potential as an antimyostatic agent than WFIKKN2.