P38α-mapk signaling inhibition attenuates soleus atrophy during early stages of muscle unloading

Svetlana P. Belova, Ekaterina P. Mochalova, Tatiana Y. Kostrominova, Boris S. Shenkman, Tatiana L. Nemirovskaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that p38α-MAPK plays a critical role in the regulation of E3 ligase expression and skeletal muscle atrophy during unloading, we used VX-745, a selective p38α inhibitor. Three groups of rats were used: non-treated control (C), 3 days of unloading/hindlimb suspension (HS), and 3 days HS with VX-745 inhibitor (HSVX; 10 mg/kg/day). Total weight of soleus muscle in HS group was reduced compared to C (72.3 ± 2.5 vs 83.0 ± 3 mg, respectively), whereas muscle weight in the HSVX group was maintained (84.2 ± 5 mg). The expression of muscle RING-finger protein-1 (MuRF1) mRNA was significantly increased in the HS group (165%), but not in the HSVX group (127%), when compared with the C group. The expression of muscle-specific E3 ubiquitin ligases muscle atrophy F-box (MAFbx) mRNA was increased in both HS and HSVX groups (294% and 271%, respectively) when compared with C group. The expression of ubiquitin mRNA was significantly higher in the HS (423%) than in the C and HSVX (200%) groups. VX-745 treatment blocked unloading-induced upregulation of calpain-1 mRNA expression (HS: 120%; HSVX: 107%). These results indicate that p38α-MAPK signaling regulates MuRF1 but not MAFbx E3 ligase expression and inhibits skeletal muscle atrophy during early stages of unloading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2756
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020


  • Calpain-1
  • MAFbx
  • MuRF1
  • Muscle unloading
  • P38α-MAPK
  • Ubiquitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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