Exercise increases phosphorylation of the putative mTORC2 activity readout NDRG1 in human skeletal muscle

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

In mice, exercise is suggested to activate the mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) in skeletal muscle, and mTORC2 is required for normal muscle glucose uptake during exercise. Whether this translates to human skeletal muscle and what signaling pathways facilitate the exercise-induced mTORC2 activation is unknown but important to determine given the important role of mTORC2 in metabolism. We herein tested the hypothesis that exercise increases mTORC2 activity in human skeletal muscle and investigated if β2-adrenergic receptor (AR) activation mediates exercise-induced mTORC2 activation. We examined several mTORC2 activity readouts (p-NDRG1 Thr346, p-Akt Ser473, p-mTOR S2481, and p-Akt Thr450) in human skeletal muscle biopsies after uphill walking or cycling exercise. In mouse muscles, we assessed mTORC2 activity readouts following acute activation of muscle β2-adrenergic or Gs signaling and during in vivo and ex vivo muscle contractions. Exercise increased phosphorylation of NDRG1 Thr346 in human soleus, gastrocnemius, and vastus lateralis muscle, without changing p-Akt Ser473, p-Akt Thr450, and p-mTOR Ser2481. In mouse muscle, stimulation of β2-adrenergic or Gs signaling and ex vivo contractions failed to increase p-NDRG1 Thr346, while in vivo contractions were sufficient to induce p-NDRG1 Thr346. In conclusion, the mTORC2 activity readout p-NDRG1 Thr346 is a novel exercise-responsive signaling protein in human skeletal muscle. Notably, contraction-induced p-NDRG1 Thr346 appears to require a systemic factor. Unlike exercise, and in contrast to published data obtained in cultured muscles cells, stimulation of β2-adrenergic signaling is not sufficient to trigger NDRG1 phosphorylation in mature mouse skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume322
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)E63-E73
Number of pages11
ISSN0193-1849
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Exercise, mTORC2, Skeletal muscle, β-adrenergic signaling, Humans

ID: 286421701