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      The Effects of Marine Algal Polyphenols, Phlorotannins, on Skeletal Muscle Growth in C2C12 Muscle Cells via Smad and IGF-1 Signaling Pathways


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          Skeletal muscle is an important tissue in energy metabolism and athletic performance. The use of effective synthetic supplements and drugs to promote muscle growth is limited by various side effects. Moreover, their use is prohibited by anti-doping agencies; hence, natural alternatives are needed. Therefore, we evaluated the muscle growth effect of substances that can act like synthetic supplements from edible marine algae. First, we isolated six marine algal polyphenols belonging to the phlorotannin class, namely dieckol (DK), 2,7″-phloroglucinol-6,6′-bieckol (PHB), phlorofucofuroeckol A (PFFA), 6,6′-bieckol (6,6-BK), pyrogallol-phloroglucinol-6,6′-bieckol (PPB), and phloroglucinol (PG) from an edible brown alga, Ecklonia cava and evaluated their effects on C2C12 myoblasts proliferation and differentiation. Of the six phlorotannin isolates evaluated, DK and PHB induced the highest degree of C2C12 myoblast proliferation. In addition, DK and PHB regulates myogenesis by down-regulating the Smad signaling, a negative regulator, and up-regulating the insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling, a positive regulator. Interestingly, DK and PHB bind strongly to myostatin, which is an inhibitor of myoblast proliferation, while also binding to IGF-1 receptors. Moreover, they bind to IGF-1 receptor. These results suggest that DK and PHB are potential natural muscle building supplements and could be a safer alternative to synthetic drugs.

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          The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily encompasses a large group of growth and differentiation factors playing important roles in regulating embryonic development and in maintaining tissue homeostasis in adult animals. Using degenerate polymerase chain reaction, we have identified a new murine TGF-beta family member, growth/differentiation factor-8 (GDF-8), which is expressed specifically in developing and adult skeletal muscle. During early stages of embryogenesis, GDF-8 expression is restricted to the myotome compartment of developing somites. At later stages and in adult animals, GDF-8 is expressed in many different muscles throughout the body. To determine the biological function of GDF-8, we disrupted the GDF-8 gene by gene targeting in mice. GDF-8 null animals are significantly larger than wild-type animals and show a large and widespread increase in skeletal muscle mass. Individual muscles of mutant animals weigh 2-3 times more than those of wild-type animals, and the increase in mass appears to result from a combination of muscle cell hyperplasia and hypertrophy. These results suggest that GDF-8 functions specifically as a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth.
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            Akt/mTOR pathway is a crucial regulator of skeletal muscle hypertrophy and can prevent muscle atrophy in vivo.

            Skeletal muscles adapt to changes in their workload by regulating fibre size by unknown mechanisms. The roles of two signalling pathways implicated in muscle hypertrophy on the basis of findings in vitro, Akt/mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and calcineurin/NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells), were investigated in several models of skeletal muscle hypertrophy and atrophy in vivo. The Akt/mTOR pathway was upregulated during hypertrophy and downregulated during muscle atrophy. Furthermore, rapamycin, a selective blocker of mTOR, blocked hypertrophy in all models tested, without causing atrophy in control muscles. In contrast, the calcineurin pathway was not activated during hypertrophy in vivo, and inhibitors of calcineurin, cyclosporin A and FK506 did not blunt hypertrophy. Finally, genetic activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway was sufficient to cause hypertrophy and prevent atrophy in vivo, whereas genetic blockade of this pathway blocked hypertrophy in vivo. We conclude that the activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway and its downstream targets, p70S6K and PHAS-1/4E-BP1, is requisitely involved in regulating skeletal muscle fibre size, and that activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway can oppose muscle atrophy induced by disuse.
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              Skeletal muscle hypertrophy and atrophy signaling pathways.

              Skeletal muscle hypertrophy is defined as an increase in muscle mass, which in the adult animal comes as a result of an increase in the size, as opposed to the number, of pre-existing skeletal muscle fibers. The protein growth factor insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) has been demonstrated to be sufficient to induce skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Over the past few years, signaling pathways which are activated by IGF-1, and which are responsible for regulating protein synthesis pathways, have been defined. More recently, it has been show that IGF-1 can also block the transcriptional upregulation of key mediators of skeletal muscle atrophy, the ubiquitin-ligases MuRF1 and MAFbx (also called Atrogin-1). Further, it has been demonstrated recently that activation of the NF-kappaB transcription pathway, activated by cachectic factors such as TNFalpha, is sufficient to induce skeletal muscle atrophy, and this atrophy occurs in part via NF-kappaB-mediated upregulation of MuRF1. Further work has demonstrated a trigger for MAFbx expression upon treatment with TNFalpha--the p38 MAPK pathway. This review will focus on the recent progress in the understanding of molecular signalling, which governs skeletal muscle atrophy and hypertrophy, and the known instances of cross-regulation between the two systems.

                Author and article information

                Mar Drugs
                Mar Drugs
                Marine Drugs
                10 May 2021
                May 2021
                : 19
                : 5
                : 266
                [1 ]Department of Marine Life Science, Jeju National University, Jeju 63243, Korea; kimmsy1127@ 123456naver.com or
                [2 ]Chuncheon Center, Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI), Chuncheon 24341, Korea; knkim@ 123456kbsi.re.kr
                [3 ]Natural Products Research Division, Honam National Institute of Biological Resources (HNIBR), 99, Gohadoan-gil, Mokpo 58762, Korea; lee198186@ 123456hanmail.net
                [4 ]Jeju Research Institute, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Jeju 63349, Korea; nalae1207@ 123456kiost.ac.kr
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: youjin2014@ 123456gmail.com ; Tel.: +82-64-754-3475
                Author information
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 15 April 2021
                : 06 May 2021

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                muscle growth,myogenesis,marine algae,ecklnoia cava,marine algal polyphenols,phlorotannins


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