Indexed on: 24 Jan '14Published on: 24 Jan '14Published in: Autophagy
Skeletal muscle atrophy is thought to result from hyperactivation of intracellular protein degradation pathways, including autophagy and the ubiquitin-proteasome system. However, the precise contributions of these pathways to muscle atrophy are unclear. Here, we show that an autophagy deficiency in denervated slow-twitch soleus muscles delayed skeletal muscle atrophy, reduced mitochondrial activity, and induced oxidative stress and accumulation of PARK2/Parkin, which participates in mitochondrial quality control (PARK2-mediated mitophagy), in mitochondria. Soleus muscles from denervated Park2 knockout mice also showed resistance to denervation, reduced mitochondrial activities, and increased oxidative stress. In both autophagy-deficient and Park2-deficient soleus muscles, denervation caused the accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins. Denervation induced proteasomal activation via NFE2L1 nuclear translocation in control mice, whereas it had little effect in autophagy-deficient and Park2-deficient mice. These results suggest that PARK2-mediated mitophagy plays an essential role in the activation of proteasomes during denervation atrophy in slow-twitch muscles.