Muscle atrophy contributes to the poor prognosis of many pathophysiological conditions, but pharmacological therapies are still limited. Muscle activity leads to major swings in mitochondrial [Ca(2+)], which control aerobic metabolism, cell death, and survival pathways. We investigated in vivo the effects of mitochondrial Ca(2+) homeostasis in skeletal muscle function and trophism by overexpressing or silencing the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU). The results demonstrate that in both developing and adult muscles, MCU-dependent mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake has a marked trophic effect that does not depend on aerobic control but impinges on two major hypertrophic pathways of skeletal muscle, PGC-1α4 and IGF1-Akt/PKB. In addition, MCU overexpression protects from denervation-induced atrophy. These data reveal a novel Ca(2+)-dependent organelle-to-nucleus signaling route that links mitochondrial function to the control of muscle mass and may represent a possible pharmacological target in conditions of muscle loss.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.