We examined muscle-specific ubiquitin ligases MAFbx/Atrogin-1 and MuRF1 gene expression resulting from immobilization-induced skeletal muscle atrophy of slow-twitch soleus and fast-twitch plantaris muscles. Male C57BL/6 mice were subjected to hindlimb immobilization, which induced similar percentage decreases in muscle mass in the soleus and plantaris muscles. Expression of MAFbx/Atrogin-1 and MuRF1 was significantly greater in the plantaris muscle than in the soleus muscle during the early stage of atrophy. After a 3-day period of atrophy, total FOXO3a protein level had increased in both muscles, while phosphorylated FOXO3a protein had decreased in the plantaris muscle, but not in the soleus muscle. PGC-1α protein expression did not change following immobilization in both muscles, but basal PGC-1α protein in the soleus was markedly higher than that in plantaris muscles. These data suggest that although soleus and plantaris muscles atrophied to a similar extent and that musclespecific ubiquitin protein ligases (E3) may contribute more to the atrophy of fast-twitch muscle than to that of slowtwitch muscle during immobilization.
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