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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Altered extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling and glycogen metabolism in skeletal muscle from p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2 knockout mice.

The p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK), a cytosolic substrate for the extracellular signal-regulated kinase ( ERK), is involved in transcriptional regulation, and one isoform (RSK2) has been implicated in the activation of glycogen synthase by insulin. To determine RSK2 function in vivo, mice lacking a functional rsk2 gene were generated and studied in response to insulin and exercise, two potent stimulators of the ERK cascade in skeletal muscle. RSK2 knockout (KO) mice weigh 10% less and are 14% shorter than wild-type (WT) mice. They also have impaired learning and coordination. Hindlimb skeletal muscles were obtained from mice 10, 15, or 30 min after insulin injection or immediately after strenuous treadmill exercise for 60 min. While insulin and exercise significantly increased ERK phosphorylation in skeletal muscle from both WT and KO mice, the increases were twofold greater in the KO animals. This occurred despite 27% lower ERK2 protein expression in skeletal muscle of KO mice. KO mice had 18% less muscle glycogen in the fasted basal state, and insulin increased glycogen synthase activity more in KO than WT mice. The enhanced insulin-stimulated increases in ERK and glycogen synthase activities in KO mice were not associated with higher insulin receptor or with IRS1 tyrosine phosphorylation or with IRS1 binding to phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. However, insulin-stimulated serine phosphorylation of Akt was significantly higher in the KO animals. c-fos mRNA was increased similarly in muscle from WT and KO mice in response to insulin (2. 5-fold) and exercise (15-fold). In conclusion, RSK2 likely plays a major role in feedback inhibition of the ERK pathway in skeletal muscle. Furthermore, RSK2 is not required for activation of muscle glycogen synthase by insulin but may indirectly modulate muscle glycogen synthase activity and/or glycogen content by other mechanisms, possibly through regulation of Akt. RSK2 knockout mice may be a good animal model for the study of Coffin-Lowry syndrome.[1]


  1. Altered extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling and glycogen metabolism in skeletal muscle from p90 ribosomal S6 kinase 2 knockout mice. Dufresne, S.D., Bjørbaek, C., El-Haschimi, K., Zhao, Y., Aschenbach, W.G., Moller, D.E., Goodyear, L.J. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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