Effects of diabetes on protein synthesis in fast- and slow-twitch rat skeletal muscle

K. E. Flaim, M. E. Copenhaver, L. S. Jefferson

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The effects of acute (2-day) and long-term (7-day) diabetes on rates of protein synthesis, peptide-chain initiation, and levels of RNA were examined in rat skeletal muscles that are known to have differing proportions of the three fiber types: fast-twitch white, fast-twitch red, and slow-twitch red. Short-term diabetes resulted in a 15% reduction in the level of RNA in all the muscles studied and an impairment in peptide-chain initiation in muscles with mixed fast-twitch fibers. In contrast, the soleus, a skeletal muscle with high proportions of slow-twitch red fibers, showed little impairment in initiation. When the muscles were perfused as a part of the hemicorpus preparation, addition of insulin to the medium caused a rapid reversal of the block in initiation in mixed fast-twitch muscle but had no effect in the soleus. The possible role of fatty acids in accounting for these differences is discussed. Long-term diabetes caused no further reduction in RNA, but resulted in the development of an additional impairment to protein synthesis that also affected the soleus and that was not corrected by perfusion with insulin. The defect resulting from long-term diabetes may involve elongation or termination reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E88-E95
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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