GAA promotes myoblast differentiation
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA), an amino acid derivative that is endogenous to animal tissues including muscle and nerve, has been reported to enhance muscular performance. MicroRNA (miRNA) is a post-transcriptional regulator that plays a key role in nutrient-mediated myogenesis. However, the effects of GAA on myogenic differentiation and skeletal muscle growth, and the potential regulatory mechanisms of miRNA in these processes have not been elucidated. In this study, we investigated the effects of GAA on proliferation, differentiation, and growth in C2C12 cells and mice. The results showed that GAA markedly inhibited the proliferation of myoblasts, along with the down-regulation of cyclin D1 (CCND1) and cyclin dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) mRNA expression, and the upregulation of cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (P21) mRNA expression. We also demonstrated that GAA treatment stimulated myogenic differentiation 1 (MyoD) and myogenin (MyoG) mRNA expression, resulting in an increase in the myotube fusion rate. Meanwhile, GAA supplementation promoted myotube growth through increase in total myosin heavy chain (MyHC) protein level, myotubes thickness and gastrocnemius muscle cross-sectional area. Furthermore, small RNA sequencing revealed that a total of eight miRNAs, including miR-133a-3p and miR-1a-3p cluster, showed differential expression after GAA supplementation. To further study the function of miR-133a-3p and miR-1a-3p in GAA-induced skeletal muscle growth, we transfected miR-133a-3p and miR-1a-3p mimics into myotube, which also induced muscle growth. Through bioinformatics and a dual-luciferase reporter system, the target genes of miR-133a-3p and miR-1a-3p were determined. These two miRNAs were shown to modulate the Akt/mTOR/S6K signaling pathway by restraining target gene expression. Taken together, these findings suggest that GAA supplementation can promote myoblast differentiation and skeletal muscle growth through miR-133a-3p- and miR-1a-3p-induced activation of the AKT/mTOR/S6K signaling pathway.
Wang Y, Ma J, Qiu W, et al. Guanidinoacetic Acid Regulates Myogenic Differentiation and Muscle Growth Through miR-133a-3p and miR-1a-3p Co-mediated Akt/mTOR/S6K Signaling Pathway. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(9):2837. Published 2018 Sep 19. doi:10.3390/ijms19092837