Glucocorticoids (GCs) are negative muscle protein regulators that contribute to the whole-body catabolic state during stress. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-signaling pathway, which acts as a central regulator of protein metabolism, can be activated by branched-chain amino acids. In the present study, the effect of leucine on the suppression of protein synthesis induced by GCs and the pathway involved were investigated. In vitro experiments were conducted using cultured C2C12 myoblasts to study the effect of GCs on protein synthesis, and the involvement of mTOR pathway was investigated as well. After exposure to dexamethasone (DEX, 100 µmol/L) for 24 h, protein synthesis in muscle cells was significantly suppressed (P < 0.05), the phosphorylations of mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 protein kinase 1 (p70s6k1) and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 were significantly reduced (4EBP1) (P < 0.05). Leucine supplementation (5 mmol/L, 10 mmol/L, and 15 mmol/L) for 1 h alleviated the suppression of protein synthesis induced by DEX (P < 0.05) and was accompanied with the increased phosphorylation of mTOR and decreased phosphorylation of AMPK (P < 0.05). Branched-chain amino transferase 2 (BCAT2) mRNA level was not influenced by DEX (P > 0.05) but was increased by leucine supplementation at a dose of 5 mmol/L (P < 0.05).
- mechanistic target of rapamycin
- muscle cell
- protein synthesis
- ©2016 The Author(s)
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