Inhibition of C2C12 myotube atrophy by a novel HSP70 inducer, celastrol, via activation of Akt1 and ERK1/2 pathways

Taesik Gwag, Kyoungsook Park, Eunjung Kim, Chaeyeon Son, Junsoo Park, Takeshi Nikawa, Inho Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Celastrol (CEL) is known as a potent inducer of heat shock protein (HSP) in non-muscle cells and exhibits cytoprotective function and inhibitory effects on proteasome and glucocorticoid receptor activities. To investigate an anti-atrophic effect of CEL on skeletal muscle cells, C2C12 myotubes were treated with 150 lM dexamethasone (DEX) for 24 h and 1.5 lM CEL was added for the last 6 h during the 24 h DEX treatment. Compared to the control, the myotube diameter was reduced by a factor of 0.30 by DEX, but CEL treatment almost abrogated the DEX-induced atrophy. CEL treatment also increased expression of HSP72 and phosphorylation of heat shock transcription factor 1 (p-HSF1) 11-fold and 3.4-fold, respectively, as well as accumulation of p-HSF1 in the nucleus. Furthermore, CEL treatment elevated activities of Akt1, p70/S6K and ERK1/2 2.0-to 4.4-fold whereas DEX had no effect on these signaling activities. Inhibition of Akt1 and ERK1/2 pathways by specific inhibitors confirmed CEL-induced anti-atrophic effect. Moreover, DEX-mediated downregulation of FoxO3 phosphorylation and upregulation of MuRF1 expression and proteasome activity were abrogated by CEL treatment. These results demonstrate a novel antiatrophic function of CEL in muscle cells via both activation of protein anabolic signals and suppression of catabolic signaling activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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