Acute attenuation of translation initiation and protein synthesis by glucocorticoids in skeletal muscle

O. Jameel Shah, Scot R. Kimball, Leonard S. Jefferson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Glucocorticoids are diabetogenic factors that not only antagonize the action of insulin in target tissues but also render these tissues catabolic. Therefore, in rats, we endeavored to characterize the effects in skeletal muscle of glucocorticoids on translation initiation, a regulated process that, in part, governs overall protein synthesis through the modulated activities of eukaryotic initiation factors (eIFs). Four hours after intraperitoneal administration of dexamethasone (100 μg/100 g body wt), protein synthesis in skeletal muscle was reduced to 59% of the value recorded in untreated control animals. Furthermore, translation initiation factor eIF4E preferred association with its endogenous inhibitor 4E-BP1 rather than eIF4G. Dexamethasone treatment resulted in dephosphorylation of both 4E-BP1 and the 40S ribosomal protein S6 kinase concomitant with enhanced phosphorylation of eIF4E. Moreover, the guanine nucleotide exchange activity of eIF2B was unaffected as was phosphorylation of the α-subunit of eIF2. Hence glucocorticoids negatively modulate the activation of a subset of the protein synthetic machinery, thereby contributing to the catabolic properties of this class of hormones in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E76-E82
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1 41-1
StatePublished - Jan 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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