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Mechanosensors control skeletal muscle mass, molecular clocks, and metabolism

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Skeletal muscles (SkM) are mechanosensitive, with mechanical unloading resulting in muscle-devastating conditions and altered metabolic properties. However, it remains unexplored whether these atrophic conditions affect SkM mechanosensors and molecular clocks, both crucial for their homeostasis and consequent physiological metabolism. METHODS: We induced SkM atrophy through 14 days of hindlimb suspension (HS) in 10 male C57BL/6J mice and 10 controls (CTR). SkM histology, gene expressions and protein levels of mechanosensors, molecular clocks and metabolism-related players were examined in the m. Gastrocnemius and m. Soleus. Furthermore, we genetically reduced the expression of mechanosensors integrin-linked kinase (Ilk1) and kindlin-2 (Fermt2) in myogenic C2C12 cells and analyzed the gene expression of mechanosensors, clock components and metabolism-controlling genes. RESULTS: Upon hindlimb suspension, gene expression levels of both core molecular clocks and mechanosensors were moderately upregulated in m. Gastrocnemius but strongly downregulated in m. Soleus. Upon unloading, metabolism- and protein biosynthesis-related genes were moderately upregulated in m. Gastrocnemius but downregulated in m. Soleus. Furthermore, we identified very strong correlations between mechanosensors, metabolism- and circadian clock-regulating genes. Finally, genetically induced downregulations of mechanosensors Ilk1 and Fermt2 caused a downregulated mechanosensor, molecular clock and metabolism-related gene expression in the C2C12 model. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these data shed new lights on mechanisms that control muscle loss. Mechanosensors are identified to crucially control these processes, specifically through commanding molecular clock components and metabolism.
Journal: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
ISSN: 1420-682X
Issue: 6
Volume: 79
Publication year:2022