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

Influence of calcium and other divalent cations on protein turnover in rat skeletal muscle.

When rat muscles were incubated in Ca2+-free media, their rates of protein break-down were significantly lower than in complete medium (2.58 mM Ca2+). Dantrolene and 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoic acid 8-(diethylamino)octyl ester, inhibitors of Ca2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, also reduced muscle proteolysis. When Ca2+ was added (up to 5.16 mM), proteolysis increased progressively up to 70% in the intact soleus and extensor digitorum longus muscles and up to 300% in the cut diaphragm preparation. Addition of Ca2+ did not affect the muscles' ATP or phosphocreatine content and increased protein synthesis slightly or not at all. Sr2+, Ba2+, and Mn2+ also increased proteolysis, but were less effective than Ca2+. Mg2+ inhibited the enhancement of proteolysis by Ca2+. This stimulation by Ca2+ was not affected by inhibitors of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, calmodulin, metalloendoproteases, microfilament or microtubule formation, or mersalyl. High Ca2+ levels also increased prostaglandin (PG) E2 production, although a rise in PGE2 did not appear essential for the increased proteolysis. The proteolysis induced by Ca2+ was prevented in muscles treated with Ep-475 or leupeptin. By contrast, these inhibitors of thiol proteases did not affect protein breakdown in Ca2+-free medium. Thus extracellular Ca2+ activates and Mg2+ inhibits a proteolytic pathway involving thiol proteases.[1]


  1. Influence of calcium and other divalent cations on protein turnover in rat skeletal muscle. Baracos, V., Greenberg, R.E., Goldberg, A.L. Am. J. Physiol. (1986) [Pubmed]
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