Mechanical loading induces the expression of a Pol I regulon at the onset of skeletal muscle hypertrophy

Ferdinand von Walden, Vandre Casagrande, Ann Kristin Östlund Farrants, Gustavo A. Nader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The main goal of the present study was to investigate the regulation of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene transcription at the onset of skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Mice were subjected to functional overload of the plantaris by bilateral removal of the synergist muscles. Mechanical loading resulted in muscle hypertrophy with an increase in rRNA content. rDNA transcription, as determined by 45S pre-rRNA abundance, paralleled the increase in rRNA content and was consistent with the onset of the hypertrophic response. Increased transcription and protein expression of c-Myc and its downstream polymerase I (Pol I) regulon (POL1RB, TIF-1A, PAF53, TTF1, TAF1C) was also consistent with the increase in rRNA. Similarly, factors involved in rDNA transcription, such as the upstream binding factor and the Williams syndrome transcription factor, were induced by mechanical loading in a corresponding temporal fashion. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that these factors, together with Pol I, were enriched at the rDNA promoter. This, in addition to an increase in histone H3 lysine 9 acetylation, demonstrates that mechanical loading regulates rRNA synthesis by inducing a gene expression program consisting of a Pol I regulon, together with accessory factors involved in transcription and chromatin remodeling at the rDNA promoter. Altogether, these data indicate that transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms take place in the regulation of ribosome production at the onset of muscle hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1523-C1530
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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