Muscle fiber type comparison of PDH kinase activity and isoform expression in fed and fasted rats

S. J. Peters, R. A. Harris, G. J.F. Heigenhauser, L. L. Spriet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations


Fiber type specificity for expression of all three rat skeletal muscle pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) isoforms (PDK1, 2, and 4) was determined in fed and 24-h fasted rats. PDK activity and isoform protein and mRNA contents were determined in white gastrocnemius (WG; fast-twitch glycolytic), red gastrocnemius (RG; fast-twitch oxidative), and soleus (Sol; slowtwitch oxidative) muscles. PDK activity was lower in WG compared with oxidative muscles (RG, Sol) in both fed and fasted rats. PDK activities from fed muscles were 0.12 ± 0.04, 0.30 ± 0.01, and 0.36 ± 0.08 min-1 in WG, Sol, and RG, respectively, and increased in fasted muscles (0.36 ± 0.09, 0.68 ± 0.18, and 0.80 ± 0.14 min-1). This correlated with increased PDK4 protein and to a lesser extent with PDK4 mRNA. PDK2 protein was not different between fiber types in fed or fasted rats, but PDK2 mRNA content was twofold greater in RG from fasted rats compared with fed rats. PDK1 was unaltered by fasting in all muscle types at both the protein and mRNA level, but in both fed and fasted rats had much greater protein and mRNA content in the oxidative vs. glycolytic muscles. In conclusion, PDK activity and PDK1 and 4 protein and mRNA were lower in glycolytic vs. oxidative muscles from fed and fasted rats. Fasting for 24 h induced a two- to threefold increase in PDK activity that was mainly due to increases in PDK4 protein and mRNA. PDK1 and 2 protein and mRNA were generally unaltered by fasting in all fiber types, except for increased PDK2 mRNA in the fast oxidative fibers. Because the PDK isoforms vary greatly in their kinetic properties, their relative proportions in the three fiber types at any given time during fasting could significantly alter the acute regulation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R661-R668
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3 49-3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Glycolytic fibers
  • Oxidative fibers
  • Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase isoform mRNA and protein
  • Pyruvate dehydrogenase regulation
  • Starvationa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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