Angiotensin II directly induces muscle protein catabolism through the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway and may play a role in cancer cachexia

P.M. Sanders, S.T. Russell, M.J. Tisdale*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ability of angiotensin I (Ang I) and II (Ang II) to induce directly protein degradation in skeletal muscle has been studied in murine myotubes. Angiotensin I stimulated protein degradation with a parabolic dose-response curve and with a maximal effect between 0.05 and 0.1 μM. The effect was attenuated by coincubation with the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor imidaprilat, suggesting that angiotensin I stimulated protein degradation through conversion to Ang II. Angiotensin II also stimulated protein breakdown with a similar dose-response curve, and with a maximal effect between 1 and 2.5 μM. Total protein degradation, induced by both Ang I and Ang II, was attenuated by the proteasome inhibitors lactacystin (5 μM) and MG132 (10 μM), suggesting that the effect was mediated through upregulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway. Both Ang I and Ang II stimulated an increased proteasome 'chymotrypsin-like' enzyme activity as well as an increase in protein expression of 20S proteasome α-subunits, the 19S subunits MSSI and p42, at the same concentrations as those inducing protein degradation. The effect of Ang I was attenuated by imidaprilat, confirming that it arose from conversion to Ang II. These results suggest that Ang II stimulates protein degradation in myotubes through induction of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Protein degradation induced by Ang II was inhibited by insulin-like growth factor and by the polyunsaturated fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid. These results suggest that Ang II has the potential to cause muscle atrophy through an increase in protein degradation. The highly lipophilic ACE inhibitor imidapril (Vitor™) (30 mg kg-1) attenuated the development of weight loss in mice bearing the MAC16 tumour, suggesting that Ang II may play a role in the development of cachexia in this model. © 2005 Cancer Research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-434
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 2005

Bibliographical note

© 2005 Cancer Research UK Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 licence, subject to the conditions listed at


  • Angiotensin I/II
  • Cancer cachexia
  • Muscle wasting
  • Proteasome expression

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  • Student Theses

    Mechanism of action of a tumour derived lipid mobilising factor

    Author: Sanders, P. M., Sep 2003

    Supervisor: Tisdale, M. J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


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