_-Ketoglutarate prevents skeletal muscle protein degradation and muscle atrophy through PHD3 and ADRB2 pathway

X. Cai, Y. Yuan, Z. Liao, K. Xing, C. Zhu, Y. Xu, L. Yu, L. Wang, S. Wang, X. Zhu, P. Gao, Y. Zhang, Q. Jiang, P. Xu, G. Shu

South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, China

The FASEB Journal

Skeletal muscle atrophy due to excessive protein degradation is the main cause for muscle dysfunction, fatigue, and weakening of athletic ability. Endurance exercise is effective to attenuate muscle atrophy, but the underlying mechanism has not been fully investigated. _-Ketoglutarate (AKG) is a key intermediate of tricarboxylic acid cycle, which is generated during endurance exercise. Here, we demonstrated that AKG effectively attenuated corticosterone-induced protein degradation and rescued the muscle atrophy and dysfunction in a Duchenne muscular dystrophy mouse model. Interestingly, AKG also inhibited the expression of proline hydroxylase 3 (PHD3), one of the important oxidoreductases expressed under hypoxic conditions. Subsequently, we identified the _2 adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) as a downstream target for PHD3. We found AKG inhibited PHD3/ADRB2 interaction and therefore increased the stability of ADRB2. In addition, combining pharmacologic and genetic approaches, we showed that AKG rescues skeletal muscle atrophy and protein degradation through a PHD3/ADRB2 mediated mechanism. Taken together, these data reveal a mechanism for inhibitory effects of AKG on muscle atrophy and protein degradation. These findings not only provide a molecular basis for the potential use of exercise-generated metabolite AKG in muscle atrophy treatment, but also identify PHD3 as a potential target for the development of therapies for muscle wasting.

BIOSEB Instruments Used:
Grip strength test (BIO-GS3)

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