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Regulation of skeletal muscle growth by the IGF1-Akt/PKB pathway: insights from genetic models

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Author(s): Schiaffino Stefano | Mammucari Cristina

Journal: Skeletal Muscle
ISSN 2044-5040

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 4;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract A highly conserved signaling pathway involving insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), and a cascade of intracellular components that mediate its effects, plays a major role in the regulation of skeletal muscle growth. A central component in this cascade is the kinase Akt, also called protein kinase B (PKB), which controls both protein synthesis, via the kinases mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β), and protein degradation, via the transcription factors of the FoxO family. In this paper, we review the composition and function of this pathway in skeletal muscle fibers, focusing on evidence obtained in vivo by transgenic and knockout models and by muscle transient transfection experiments. Although this pathway is essential for muscle growth during development and regeneration, its role in adult muscle response to mechanical load is less clear. A full understanding of the operation of this pathway could help to design molecularly targeted therapeutics aimed at preventing muscle wasting, which occurs in a variety of pathologic contexts and in the course of aging.
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