Firstly, Myostatin is an endogenous, negative regulator of muscle growth determining both muscle fiber number and size. The myostatin pathway maintains a constant across diverse species ranging from zebrafish to humans. Experimental models of muscle growth and regeneration have implicated myostatin as an important mediator of catabolic pathways in muscle cells. Inhibition of this pathway has emerged as a promising therapy for muscle wasting.
How Myostatin works:
Myostatin (MSTN) is a secreted member of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family. Also known as growth differentiation factor 8, MSTN signals through the activin receptors and functions as a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. Moreover, MSTN circulates in the bloodstream, and acts to limit muscle mass. That is to say, overexpression of MSTN in mice produces a dramatic loss of skeletal muscle and body fat.
Paradoxically, mice lacking MSTN exhibit increased muscle mass but, surprisingly, reduced adipose tissue mass. This observation was explained by increased fatty acid oxidation. Above all, physical activity reduces MSTN production, and inhibition of MSTN has been related to the positive effects of physical activity on metabolism and skeletal muscle mass.
Interestingly, skeletal muscle MSTN expression and plasma circulating concentrations are higher in obesity. A link between MSTN and proinflammatory cytokines has been previously suggested. For instance, MSTN expression raises in C2C12 myotubes with TNF-α, while myotubes with MSTN increase the expression and secretion of IL-6. These relations provide new clues to the mechanisms potentially linking inflammation with the loss of muscle mass.
Moreover, systemic levels of TNF-α and IL-6 do not raise after a high-fat diet in MSTN-deficient mice as compared to wild-type animals.
- regulates the number of myofibers formed in development
- regulates the postnatal growth of muscles
Molecular Formula: C133H227N43O33
Molecular Mass: 2956.6 G/MOL
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