Insulin deficiency and uncontrolled diabetes lead to a catabolic state with decreased muscle strength, contributing to disease-related morbidity. FoxO transcription factors are suppressed by insulin and thus are key mediators of insulin action. To study their role in diabetic muscle wasting, we created mice with muscle-specific triple knockout of FoxO1/3/4 and induced diabetes in these M-FoxO-TKO mice with streptozotocin (STZ). Muscle mass and myofiber area were decreased 20–30% in STZ-Diabetes mice due to increased ubiquitin-proteasome degradation and autophagy alterations, characterized by increased LC3-containing vesicles, and elevated levels of phosphorylated ULK1 and LC3-II. Both the muscle loss and markers of increased degradation/autophagy were completely prevented in STZ FoxO-TKO mice. Transcriptomic analyses revealed FoxO-dependent increases in ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis pathways in STZ-Diabetes, including regulation of Fbxo32 (Atrogin1), Trim63 (MuRF1), Bnip3L, and Gabarapl. These same genes were increased 1.4- to 3.3-fold in muscle from humans with type 1 diabetes after short-term insulin deprivation. Thus, FoxO-regulated genes play a rate-limiting role in increased protein degradation and muscle atrophy in insulin-deficient diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism