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Myosin heavy chain 2A and α-Actin expression in human and murine skeletal muscles at feeding; particularly amino acids

Britt-Marie Iresjö* and Kent Lundholm

Author Affiliations

Department of Surgery, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2012, 10:238  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-238

Published: 28 November 2012



Protein dynamics during non-steady state conditions as feeding are complex. Such studies usually demand combinations of methods to give conclusive information, particularly on myofibrillar proteins with slow turnover. Therefore, time course transcript analyses were evaluated as possible means to monitor changes in myofibrillar biosynthesis in skeletal muscles in conditions with clinical nutrition; i.e. long term exposure of nutrients.


Muscle tissue from overnight intravenously fed surgical patients were used as a model combined with muscle tissue from starved and refed mice as well as cultured L6 muscle cells. Transcripts of acta 1 (α-actin), mhc2A (myosin) and slc38 a2/Snat 2 (amino acid transporter) were quantified (qPCR) as markers of muscle protein dynamics.


Myosin heavy chain 2A transcripts decreased significantly in skeletal muscle tissue from overnight parenterally fed patients but did not change significantly in orally refed mice. Alpha-actin transcripts did not change significantly in muscle cells from fed patients, mice or cultured L6 cells during provision of AA. The AA transporter Snat 2 decreased in L6 cells refed by all AA and by various combinations of AA but did not change during feeding in muscle tissue from patients or mice.


Our results confirm that muscle cells are sensitive to alterations in extracellular concentrations of AA for induction of protein synthesis and anabolism. However, transcripts of myofibrillar proteins and amino acid transporters showed complex alterations in response to feeding with provision of amino acids. Therefore, muscle tissue transcript levels of actin and myosin do not reflect protein accretion in skeletal muscles at feeding.

Myosin; Actin; Amino acids; Skeletal muscles; Snat2