Transcriptomic Regulation of Muscle Mitochondria and Calcium Signaling by Insulin/IGF-1 Receptors Depends on FoxO Transcription Factors

Gourav Bhardwaj, Christie M. Penniman, Katherine Klaus, Eric T. Weatherford, Hui Pan, Jonathan M. Dreyfuss, K. Sreekumaran Nair, C. Ronald Kahn, Brian T. O’Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Insulin and IGF-1, acting through the insulin receptor (IR) and IGF-1 receptor (IGF1R), maintain muscle mass and mitochondrial function, at least part of which occurs via their action to regulate gene expression. Here, we show that while muscle-specific deletion of IR or IGF1R individually results in only modest changes in the muscle transcriptome, combined deletion of IR/IGF1R (MIGIRKO) altered > 3000 genes, including genes involved in mitochondrial dysfunction, fibrosis, cardiac hypertrophy, and pathways related to estrogen receptor, protein kinase A (PKA), and calcium signaling. Functionally, this was associated with decreased mitochondrial respiration and increased ROS production in MIGIRKO muscle. To determine the role of FoxOs in these changes, we performed RNA-Seq on mice with muscle-specific deletion of FoxO1/3/4 (M-FoxO TKO) or combined deletion of IR, IGF1R, and FoxO1/3/4 in a muscle quintuple knockout (M-QKO). This revealed that among IR/IGF1R regulated genes, >97% were FoxO-dependent, and their expression was normalized in M-FoxO TKO and M-QKO muscle. FoxO-dependent genes were related to oxidative phosphorylation, inflammatory signaling, and TCA cycle. Metabolomic analysis showed accumulation of TCA cycle metabolites in MIGIRKO, which was reversed in M-QKO muscle. Likewise, calcium signaling genes involved in PKA signaling and sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium homeostasis were markedly altered in MIGIRKO muscle but normalized in M-QKO. Thus, combined loss of insulin and IGF-1 action in muscle transcriptionally alters mitochondrial function and multiple regulatory and signaling pathways, and these changes are mediated by FoxO transcription factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number779121
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
StatePublished - Feb 4 2022


  • FoxO transcription factors
  • RNA sequencing
  • calcium signaling
  • diabetes
  • insulin/IGF-1 receptors
  • mitochondrial dysfunction
  • muscle transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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