Induction of protein degradation in skeletal muscle by a phorbol ester involves upregulation of the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway

S.M. Wyke, M.J. Tisdale*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although muscle atrophy is common to a number of disease states there is incomplete knowledge of the cellular mechanisms involved. In this study murine myotubes were treated with the phorbol ester 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) to evaluate the role of protein kinase C (PKC) as an upstream intermediate in protein degradation. TPA showed a parabolic dose-response curve for the induction of total protein degradation, with an optimal effect at a concentration of 25 nM, and an optimal incubation time of 3 h. Protein degradation was attenuated by co-incubation with the proteasome inhibitor lactacystin (5 μM), suggesting that it was mediated through the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway. TPA induced an increased expression and activity of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, as evidenced by an increased functional activity, and increased expression of the 20S proteasome α-subunits, the 19S subunits MSS1 and p42, as well as the ubiquitin conjugating enzyme E214k, also with a maximal effect at a concentration of 25 nM and with a 3 h incubation time. There was also a reciprocal decrease in the cellular content of the myofibrillar protein myosin. TPA induced activation of PKC maximally at a concentration of 25 nM and this effect was attenuated by the PKC inhibitor calphostin C (300 nM), as was also total protein degradation. These results suggest that stimulation of PKC in muscle cells initiates protein degradation through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. TPA also induced degradation of the inhibitory protein, I-κBα, and increased nuclear accumulation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) at the same time and concentrations as those inducing proteasome expression. In addition inhibition of NF-κB activation by resveratrol (30 μM) attenuated protein degradation induced by TPA. These results suggest that the induction of proteasome expression by TPA may involve the transcription factor NF-κB. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2898-2910
Number of pages13
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2006


  • nuclear factor-κB
  • proteasome proteolysis
  • protein kinase C


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