Regulation of muscle protein synthesis and the effects of catabolic states

Bradley S. Gordon, Andrew R. Kelleher, Scot R. Kimball

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Protein synthesis and degradation are dynamically regulated processes that act in concert to control the accretion or loss of muscle mass. The present article focuses on the mechanisms involved in the impairment of protein synthesis that are associated with skeletal muscle atrophy. The vast majority of mechanisms known to regulate protein synthesis involve modulation of the initiation phase of mRNA translation, which comprises a series of reactions that result in the binding of initiator methionyl-tRNAi and mRNA to the 40S ribosomal subunit. The function of the proteins involved in both events has been shown to be repressed under atrophic conditions such as sepsis, cachexia, chronic kidney disease, sarcopenia, and disuse atrophy. The basis for the inhibition of protein synthesis under such conditions is likely to be multifactorial and includes insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 resistance, pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, malnutrition, corticosteroids, and/or physical inactivity. The present article provides an overview of the existing literature regarding mechanisms and signaling pathways involved in the regulation of mRNA translation as they apply to skeletal muscle wasting, as well as the efficacy of potential clinical interventions such as nutrition and exercise in the maintenance of skeletal muscle protein synthesis under atrophic conditions. This article is part of a Directed Issue entitled: Molecular basis of muscle wasting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2147-2157
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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