Skeletal muscle-specific knockout of DEP domain containing 5 protein increases mTORC1 signaling, muscle cell hypertrophy, and mitochondrial respiration.


the Department of Nutrition and Metabolism, [Email]


mTORC1 regulates protein synthesis and in turn is regulated by growth factors, energy status, and amino acid availability. In kidney cell (HEK293-T) culture, the GAP activity toward RAG (GATOR1) protein complex suppresses activation of the RAG A/B-RAG C/D heterodimer when amino acids are insufficient. During amino acid sufficiency, the RAG heterodimer recruits mTORC1 to the lysosomal membrane where its interaction with Ras homolog enriched in brain (Rheb) stimulates mTORC1's kinase activity. The DEP domain containing 5 (DEPDC5) protein, a GATOR1 subunit, causes familial focal epilepsy when mutated, and global knockout of the Depdc5 gene is embryonically lethal. To study the function of DEPDC5 in skeletal muscle, we generated a muscle-specific inducible Depdc5 knockout mouse, hypothesizing that knocking out Depdc5 in muscle would make mTORC1 constitutively active, causing hypertrophy and improving muscle function. Examining mTORC1 signaling, morphology, mitochondrial respiratory capacity, contractile function, and applied physical function (e.g. rotarod, treadmill, grip test, and wheel running), we observed that mTORC1 activity was significantly higher in knockout (KO) mice, indicated by the increased phosphorylation of mTOR and its downstream effectors (by 118% for p-mTOR/mTOR, 114% for p-S6K1/S6K1, and 35% for p-4E-BP1/4E-BP1). The KO animals also exhibited soleus muscle cell hypertrophy and a 2.5-fold increase in mitochondrial respiratory capacity. However, contrary to our hypothesis, neither physical nor contractile function improved. In conclusion, DEPDC5 depletion in adult skeletal muscle removes GATOR1 inhibition of mTORC1, resulting in muscle hypertrophy and increased mitochondrial respiration, but does not improve overall muscle quality and function.


GATOR1 (GTPase-activating protein (GAP) activity toward Rags-1),amino acid sensing,gene knockout,mTOR complex (mTORC),muscle,muscle contractility,muscle hypertrophy,transgenic mice,translation control,