Inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3 beta) enhances skeletal muscle oxidative metabolism

W. F. Theeuwes*, H. R. Gosker, R. C. J. Langen, K. J. P. Verhees, N. A. M. Pansters, A. M. W. J. Schols, A. H. V. Remels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Aberrant skeletal muscle mitochondrial oxidative metabolism is a debilitating feature of chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type 2 diabetes and chronic heart failure. Evidence in non-muscle cells suggests that glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3 beta) represses mitochondrial biogenesis and inhibits PPAR-gamma co-activator 1 (PGC-1), a master regulator of cellular oxidative metabolism. The role of GSK-3 beta in the regulation of skeletal muscle oxidative metabolism is unknown.

Aims: We hypothesized that inactivation of GSK-3 beta stimulates muscle oxidative metabolism by activating PGC-1 signaling and explored if GSK-3 beta inactivation could protect against physical inactivity-induced alterations in skeletal muscle oxidative metabolism.

Methods: GSK-3 beta was modulated genetically and pharmacologically in C2C12 myotubes in vitro and in skeletal muscle in vivo. Wild-type and muscle-specific GSK-3 beta knock-out (KO) mice were subjected to hind limb suspension for 14 days. Key constituents of oxidative metabolism and PGC-1. signaling were investigated.

Results: In vitro, knock-down of GSK-3 beta increased mitochondrial DNA copy number, protein and mRNA abundance of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes and activity of oxidative metabolic enzymes but also enhanced protein and mRNA abundance of key PGC-1 signaling constituents. Similarly, pharmacological inhibition of GSK-3 beta increased transcript and protein abundance of key constituents and regulators of mitochondrial energy metabolism. Furthermore, GSK-3 beta KO animals were protected against unloading-induced decrements in expression levels of these constituents.

Conclusion: Inactivation of GSK-3 beta up-regulates skeletal muscle mitochondrial metabolism and increases expression levels of PGC-1 signaling constituents. In vivo, GSK-3 beta KO protects against inactivity-induced reductions in muscle metabolic gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3075-3086
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease
Volume1863
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Keywords

  • GSK-3 beta
  • Mitochondrial biogenesis
  • Mitochondrial metabolism
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Hind limb suspension
  • PGC-1 alpha
  • IMPROVES MITOCHONDRIAL-FUNCTION
  • ALPHA ERR-ALPHA
  • MYOGENIC DIFFERENTIATION
  • GENE-EXPRESSION
  • SIGNALING PATHWAYS
  • INSULIN-RESISTANCE
  • ENERGY-METABOLISM
  • COACTIVATOR PGC-1
  • RECEPTOR-GAMMA
  • KEY REGULATOR

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