Volume 59 (2013) Issue 5 Pages 412-419
Several catabolic diseases and unloading induce muscle mass wasting, which causes severe pathological progression in various diseases and aging. Leucine is known to attenuate muscle loss via stimulation of protein synthesis and suppression of protein degradation in skeletal muscle. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of lysine intake on protein degradation and synthesis in skeletal muscle. Fasted rats were administered 22.8-570 mg Lys/100 g body weight and the rates of myofibrillar protein degradation were assessed for 0-6 h after Lys administration. The rates of myofibrillar protein degradation evaluated by MeHis release from the isolated muscles were markedly suppressed after administration of 114 mg Lys/100 g body weight and of 570 mg Lys/100 g body weight. LC3-II, a marker of the autophagic-lysosomal pathway, tended to decrease (p=0.05, 0.08) after Lys intake (114 mg/100 g body weight). However, expression of ubiquitin ligase E3 atrogin-1 mRNA and levels of ubiquitinated proteins were not suppressed by Lys intake. Phosphorylation levels of mTOR, S6K1 and 4E-BP1 in the gastrocnemius muscle were not altered after Lys intake. These results suggest that Lys is able to suppress myofibrillar protein degradation at least partially through the autophagic-lysosomal pathway, not the ubiquitin-proteasomal pathway, whereas Lys might be unable to stimulate protein synthesis within this time frame.