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Montesano A.,University of Milan | Luzi L.,University of Milan | Luzi L.,San Donato Hospital and Scientific Institute | Senesi P.,University of Milan | Terruzzi I.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute
International Journal of Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

Myogenesis is a multistep process, in which myoblasts withdraw from the cell cycle, cease to divide, elongate and fuse to form multinucleated myotubes. Cell cycle transition is controlled by a family of cyclin-dependent protein kinases (CDKs) regulated by association with cyclins, negative regulatory subunits and phosphorylation. Muscle differentiation is orchestrated by myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs), such as MyoD and Myf-5. DNA methylation is crucial in transcriptional control of genes involved in myogenesis. Previous work has indicated that treatment of fibroblasts with the DNA-demethylating agent 5-azacytidine (AZA) promotes MyoD expression. We studied the effects of AZA on cell cycle regulation and MRFs synthesis during myoblast proliferation and early myogenesis phases in C2C12 cells. During the proliferation phase, cells were incubated in growth medium with 5μM AZA (GMAZA) or without AZA (GM) for 24 hours. At 70% confluence, cells were kept in growth medium in order to spontaneously achieve differentiation or transferred to differentiation medium with 5μM AZA (DMAZA) or without AZA (DM) for 12 and 24 hours. Cells used as control were unstimulated. In the proliferation phase, AZA-treated cells seemed to lose their characteristic circular shape and become elongated. The presence of AZA resulted in significant increases in the protein contents of Cyclin-D (FC:1.23 GMAZA vs GM p≤0.05), p21 (FC: 1.23 GMAZA vs GM p≤0.05), Myf-5 (FC: 1.21 GMAZA vs GM p≤0.05) and MyoD (FC: 1.20 GMAZA vs GM p≤0.05). These results propose that AZA could inhibit cell proliferation. During 12 hours of differentiation, AZA decreased the downregulation of genes involved in cell cycle arrest and in restriction point (G1 and G1/S phase) and the expression of several cyclins, E2F Transcription Factors, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, specific genes responsible of cell cycle negative regulation. During 24 hours of differentiation, AZA induced an increment in the protein expression of Myf-5 (FC: 1.57 GMAZA vs GM p≤0.05), MyoD (FC: 1.14 DM vs GM p≤0.05; FC: 1.47 DMAZA vs GM p≤0.05), p21 (FC: 1.36 GMAZA vs GM p≤0.01; FC: 1.49 DM vs GM p≤0.05; FC: 1.82 DMAZA vs GM p≤0.01) and MyHC (FC: 1.40 GMAZA vs GM p≤0.01; FC: 2.39 DM vs GM p≤0.05; FC: 3.51 DMAZA vs GM p≤0.01). Our results suggest that AZA-induced DNA demethylation can modulate cell cycle progression and enhance myogenesis. The effects of AZA may open novel clinical uses in the field of muscle injury research and treatment. © Ivyspring International Publisher. Source


Senesi P.,University of Milan | Senesi P.,San Donato Hospital and Scientific Institute | Montesano A.,University of Milan | Luzi L.,University of Milan | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Diabetes Research | Year: 2016

Metformin (METF), historical antihyperglycemic drug, is a likely candidate for lifespan extension, treatment and prevention of sedentariness damages, insulin resistance, and obesity. Skeletal muscle is a highly adaptable tissue, capable of hypertrophy response to resistance training and of regeneration after damage. Aims of this work were to investigate METF ability to prevent sedentariness damage and to enhance skeletal muscle function. Sedentary 12-week-old C57BL/6 mice were treated with METF (250 mg/kg per day, in drinking water) for 60 days. METF role on skeletal muscle differentiation was studied in vitro using murine C2C12 myoblasts. Muscular performance evaluation revealed that METF enhanced mice physical performance (Estimated VO2max). Biochemical analyses of hepatic and muscular tissues indicated that in liver METF increased AMPK and CAMKII signaling. In contrast, METF inactivated ERKs, the principal kinases involved in hepatic stress. In skeletal muscle, METF activated AKT, key kinase in skeletal muscle mass maintenance. In in vitro studies, METF did not modify the C2C12 proliferation capacity, while it positively influenced the differentiation process and myotube maturation. In conclusion, our novel results suggest that METF has a positive action not only on the promotion of healthy aging but also on the prevention of sedentariness damages. © 2016 Pamela Senesi et al. Source


Senesi P.,University of Milan | Luzi L.,University of Milan | Luzi L.,San Donato Hospital and Scientific Institute | Montesano A.,University of Milan | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Translational Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Betaine (BET) is a component of many foods, including spinach and wheat. It is an essential osmolyte and a source of methyl groups. Recent studies have hypothesized that BET might play a role in athletic performance. However, BET effects on skeletal muscle differentiation and hypertrophy are still poorly understood.Methods: We examined BET action on neo myotubes maturation and on differentiation process, using C2C12 murine myoblastic cells. We used RT2-PCR array, Western blot and immunofluorescence analysis to study the BET effects on morphological features of C2C12 and on signaling pathways involved in muscle differentiation and hypertrophy.Results: We performed a dose-response study, establishing that 10 mM BET was the dose able to stimulate morphological changes and hypertrophic process in neo myotubes. RT2-PCR array methodology was used to identify the expression profile of genes encoding proteins involved in IGF-1 pathway. A dose of 10 mM BET was found to promote IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1 R) expression. Western blot and immunofluorescence analysis, performed in neo myotubes, pointed out that 10 mM BET improved IGF-1 signaling, synthesis of Myosin Heavy Chain (MyHC) and neo myotubes length.In addition, we investigated BET role on myoblasts proliferation and differentiation. During proliferation, BET did not modify C2C12 proliferative rate, but promoted myogenic induction, enhancing MyoD protein content and cellular elongation. During differentiation, BET caused an increase of muscle-specific markers and IGF-1 R protein levels.Conclusions: Our findings provide the first evidence that BET could promote muscle fibers differentiation and increase myotubes size by IGF-1 pathway activation, suggesting that BET might represent a possible new drug/integrator strategy, not only in sport performance but also in clinical conditions characterized by muscle function impairment. © 2013 Senesi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Montesano A.,University of Milan | Senesi P.,University of Milan | Senesi P.,San Donato Hospital and Scientific Institute | Luzi L.,University of Milan | And 4 more authors.
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity | Year: 2015

The targeting of nutraceutical treatment to skeletal muscle damage is an emerging area of research, driven by the need for new therapies for a range of muscle-associated diseases. L-Carnitine (CARN) is an essential nutrient and plays a key role in mitochondrial β-oxidation and in the ubiquitin-proteasome system regulation. As a dietary supplement to improve athletic performance, CARN has been studied for its potential to enhance β-oxidation. However, CARN effects on myogenesis, mitochondrial activity, and hypertrophy process are not completely elucidated. This in vitro study aims to investigate CARN role on skeletal muscle remodeling, differentiation process, and myotubes formation. We analyzed muscle differentiation and morphological features in C2C12 myoblasts exposed to 5 mM CARN. Our results showed that CARN was able to accelerate C2C12 myotubes formation and induce morphological changes, characterizing the start of hypertrophy process. In addition, CARN improved AKT activation and downstream cellular signaling pathways involved in skeletal muscle atrophy process prevention. Also, CARN positively regulated the pathways involved in oxidative stress defense. In this work, we provide an interesting novel mechanism of the potential therapeutic use of CARN to treat pathological conditions characterized by skeletal muscle morphological and functional impairment, oxidative stress production, and atrophy process in aging. © 2015 Anna Montesano et al. Source


Terruzzi I.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Senesi P.,University of Milan | Montesano A.,University of Milan | la Torre A.,University of Milan | And 7 more authors.
Physiological Genomics | Year: 2011

Physical exercise induces adaptive changes leading to a muscle phenotype with enhanced performance. We first investigated whether genetic polymorphisms altering enzymes involved in DNA methylation, probably responsible of DNA methylation deficiency, are present in athletes' DNA. We determined the polymorphic variants C667T/A1298C of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), A2756G of methionine synthase (MTR), A66G of methionine synthase reductase (MTRR), G742A of betaine:homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), and 68-bp ins of cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) genes in 77 athletes and 54 control subjects. The frequency of MTHFR (AC), MTR (AG), and MTRR (AG) heterozygous genotypes was found statistically different in the athletes compared with the control group (P = 0.0001, P = 0.018, and P = 0.0001), suggesting a reduced DNA methylating capacity. We therefore assessed whether DNA hypomethylation might increase the expression of myogenic proteins expressed during early (Myf-5 and MyoD), intermediate (Myf-6), and late-phase (MHC) of myogenesis in a cellular model of hypomethylated or unhypomethylated C2C12 myoblasts. Myogenic proteins are largely induced in hypomethylated cells [fold change (FC) = Myf-5: 1.21, 1.35; MyoD: 0.9, 1.47; Myf-6: 1.39, 1.66; MHC: 1.35, 3.10 in GMA, DMA, respectively] compared with the control groups (FC = Myf-5: 1.0, 1.38; MyoD: 1.0, 1.14; Myf-6: 1.0, 1.44; MHC: 1.0, 2.20 in GM, DM, respectively). Diameters and length of hypomethylated myotubes were greater then their respective controls. Our findings suggest that DNA hypomethylation due to lesser efficiency of polymorphic MTHFR, MS, and MSR enzymes induces the activation of factors determining proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts promoting muscle growth and increase of muscle mass. © 2011 the American Physiological Society. Source

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