Role of Akirin1 in the regulation of skeletal muscle fiber-type switch.

Journal of cellular biochemistry (2019-02-13)
Vanitha Venkoba Rao, Umamaheswari Sangiah, Kavitha Arockia Mary, Shizuo Akira, Abhishek Mohanty

Akirin1 is a highly conserved ubiquitously expressed nuclear protein. Owing to its strong nuclear localization signal and protein-protein interaction properties, Akirin1 has been speculated to regulate transcription of target genes as a cofactor. Previous studies have reported Akirin1 as a downstream target of myostatin, a potent negative regulator of myogenesis. Mice lacking myostatin displayed enhanced Akirin1 gene expression. Further, in vitro evidence has shown Akirin1 overexpression leads to hypertrophy in C2 C 12 myotubes. In this study, we used Akirin1 knockout mice as a model system to further elucidate the function of Akirin1 in fully differentiated skeletal muscle. Akirin1 knockout mice did not show any obvious phenotypic difference when compared with wild type. However, promoter-reporter assay suggested that Akirin1 regulated the transcription of muscle-specific RING finger 1 (MuRF-1), an important E3 ubiquitin ligase in skeletal muscle. Furthermore, ablation of Akirin1 resulted in increased type IIa and decreased type I muscle fibers, which was further supported by an increase in Myh2 and decrease in Myh7 gene expression. Also, histochemical studies for succinate dehydrogenase activity revealed a less oxidative muscle in the absence of Akirin1. Together, our study suggests a novel role of Akirin1 in maintaining the muscle fiber type and regulation of the metabolic activity of the skeletal muscle.

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