Age-related reductions in expression of serum response factor and myocardin-related transcription factor A in mouse skeletal muscles

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Jul-Aug;1782(7-8):453-61. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2008.03.008. Epub 2008 Apr 10.


The molecular signaling pathways linking the atrophy of skeletal muscle during aging have not been identified. Using reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence microscopy, we investigated whether the amounts of RhoA, RhoGDI, SRF, MRTF-A, and MyoD in the triceps brachii and quadriceps muscles change with aging in mice. Young adult (3 mo) and aged (24 mo) C57BL/6J mice were used. Senescent mice possessed many fibers with central nuclei in the quadriceps muscle. Western blotting using a homogenate of whole muscle or the cytosolic fraction clearly showed that the amount of SRF protein was significantly decreased in the aged skeletal muscles. Immunofluorescence labeling indicated more SRF-positive muscle fibers in young mice. Both young and old mice possessed SRF immunoreactivity in some satellite cells expressing Pax7. MRTF-A and STARS mRNA levels significantly declined with aging in the triceps brachii and quadriceps muscles. The amount of MRTF-A protein was markedly reduced in the nuclear fraction of aged muscle of mice. The amounts of RhoA and RhoGDI in the crude homogenate or the cytosolic and membrane fractions were greater in the aged muscle. Senescent mice possessed significantly higher levels of MyoD protein in the cytosol and nucleus. Decreased SRF and MRTF expression may induce the atrophy of skeletal muscle with aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Aging / pathology
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Guanine Nucleotide Dissociation Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscular Atrophy / genetics
  • Muscular Atrophy / metabolism
  • Muscular Atrophy / pathology
  • MyoD Protein / metabolism
  • PAX7 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Serum Response Factor / genetics*
  • Serum Response Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • rho-Specific Guanine Nucleotide Dissociation Inhibitors
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein


  • Abra protein, mouse
  • DNA Primers
  • Guanine Nucleotide Dissociation Inhibitors
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Mrtfa protein, mouse
  • MyoD Protein
  • MyoD1 myogenic differentiation protein
  • PAX7 Transcription Factor
  • Pax7 protein, mouse
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Serum Response Factor
  • Trans-Activators
  • rho-Specific Guanine Nucleotide Dissociation Inhibitors
  • RhoA protein, mouse
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein