Loss of 4E-BPs prevents the hindlimb immobilization-induced decrease in protein synthesis in skeletal muscle

Gregory N. Kincheloe, Paul A. Roberson, Allyson L. Toro, Bruce A. Stanley, Anne E. Stanley, Leonard S. Jefferson, Michael D. Dennis, Scot R. Kimball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that upregulating protein synthesis attenuates the loss of muscle mass in a model of disuse atrophy. The studies compared the effect of unilateral hindlimb immobilization in wild-type (WT) mice and double-knockout (DKO) mice lacking the translational regulators 4E-BP1 and 4E-BP2. Immobilization-induced downregulation of protein synthesis occurred in both groups of mice, but protein synthesis was higher in gastrocnemius muscle from the immobilized hindlimb of fasted DKO compared with WT mice. Surprisingly, although protein synthesis was partially elevated in DKO compared with WT mice, atrophy occurred to the same extent in both groups of animals. This may be partially due to impaired leucine-induced stimulation of protein synthesis in DKO compared with WT mice due to downregulated eukaryotic initiation factor eIF4E expression in muscle of DKO compared with WT mice. Expression of the E3 ubiquitin ligases MAFbx and MuRF-1 mRNAs and total protein ubiquitylation was upregulated in the immobilized compared with the nonimmobilized hindlimb of both WT and DKO mice, with little difference in the magnitude of the upregulation between genotypes. Analysis of newly synthesized proteins revealed downregulation of several glycolytic enzymes in the gastrocnemius of DKO mice compared with WT mice, as well as in the immobilized compared with the nonimmobilized hindlimb. Overall, the results suggest that the elevated rate of protein synthesis during hindlimb immobilization in fasted DKO mice is insufficient to prevent disuse-induced muscle atrophy, probably due to induction of compensatory mechanisms including downregulation of eIF4E expression.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Basal rates of protein synthesis are elevated in skeletal muscle in the immobilized leg of mice lacking the translational repressors, 4E-BP1 and 4E-BP2 (knockout mice), compared with wild-type mice. However, disuse-induced muscle atrophy occurs to the same extent in both wild-type and knockout mice suggesting that compensatory mechanisms are induced that overcome the upregulation of muscle protein synthesis. Proteomic analysis revealed that mRNAs encoding several glycolytic enzymes are differentially translated in wild-type and knockout mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-83
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Loss of 4E-BPs prevents the hindlimb immobilization-induced decrease in protein synthesis in skeletal muscle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this