Muscle fiber type-dependent differences in the regulation of protein synthesis

PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37890. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037890. Epub 2012 May 22.


This study examined fiber type-dependent differences in the regulation of protein synthesis in individual muscle fibers found within the same whole muscle. Specifically, the in vivo SUrface SEnsing of Translation (SUnSET) methodology was used to measure protein synthesis in type 1, 2A, 2X and 2B fibers of the mouse plantaris muscle, in response to food deprivation (FD), and mechanical overload induced by synergist ablation (SA). The results show that 48 h of FD induced a greater decrease in protein synthesis in type 2X and 2B fibers compared to type 1 and 2A fibers. Type 2X and 2B fibers also had the largest FD-induced decrease in total S6 protein and Ser(240/244) S6 phosphorylation, respectively. Moreover, only type 2X and 2B fibers displayed a FD-induced decrease in cross-sectional area (CSA). Ten days of SA also induced fiber type-dependent responses, with type 2B fibers having the smallest SA-induced increases in protein synthesis, CSA and Ser(240/244) S6 phosphorylation, but the largest increase in total S6 protein. Embryonic myosin heavy chain (MHC(Emb)) positive fibers were also found in SA muscles and the protein synthesis rates, levels of S6 Ser(240/244) phosphorylation, and total S6 protein content, were 3.6-, 6.1- and 2.9-fold greater than that found in fibers from control muscles, respectively. Overall, these results reveal differential responses in the regulation of protein synthesis and fiber size between fiber types found within the same whole muscle. Moreover, these findings demonstrate that changes found at the whole muscle level do not necessarily reflect changes in individual fiber types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Food Deprivation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscle Fibers, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / physiology
  • Protein Biosynthesis / physiology*


  • Myosin Heavy Chains