Muscle wasting accompanies aging and pathological conditions ranging from cancer, cachexia, and diabetes to denervation and immobilization. We show that activation of NF-κB, through muscle-specific transgenic expression of activated IκB kinase β (MIKK), causes profound muscle wasting that resembles clinical cachexia. In contrast, no overt phenotype was seen upon muscle-specific inhibition of NF-κB through expression of IκBα superrepressor (MISR). Muscle loss was due to accelerated protein breakdown through ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. Expression of the E3 ligase MuRF1, a mediator of muscle atrophy, was increased in MIKK mice. Pharmacological or genetic inhibition of the IKKβ/NF-κB/MuRF1 pathway reversed muscle atrophy. Denervation- and tumor-induced muscle loss were substantially reduced and survival rates improved by NF-κB inhibition in MISR mice, consistent with a critical role for NF-κB in the pathology of muscle wasting and establishing it as an important clinical target for the treatment of muscle atrophy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)