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Atrogin Breaks Down The Side Effects Of Statins

Date:
November 12, 2007
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Statins are a popular class of drugs used to successfully combat high cholesterol. However, the rare, but serious, and poorly understood side effect of skeletal muscle breakdown prevents more prevalent use of these drugs. New research in mice has now indicated that atrogin-1 is a critical mediator of statin-induced muscle damage and that inhibiting atrogin-1 function might protect against this unwanted side effect of statins.

Statins are a popular class of drugs used to successfully combat high cholesterol.

However, the rare, but serious, and poorly understood side effect of skeletal muscle breakdown (a process known as atrophy) prevents more prevalent use of these drugs.

New insight into the mechanism of statin-induced skeletal muscle atrophy has been provided by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.

In this study, the authors focused on the activity of atrogin-1, a gene highly associated with skeletal muscle atrophy. Following treatment with lovastatin, a commonly prescribed statin, atrogin-1 was induced in cultured mouse muscle cells and in zebrafish embryos.

Furthermore, statin-induced muscle injury in the zebrafish was prevented by reducing the amount of atrogin-1 expressed. Finally, when the protein PGC-1a (which protects against skeletal muscle damage and atrophy) was expressed in zebrafish, both atrogin-1 expression and lovastatin-induced muscle damage were prevented.

These data led the authors to conclude that atrogin-1 is a critical mediator of statin-induced muscle damage and that inhibiting atrogin-1 function might protect against this unwanted side effect of statins.

Article: The muscle-specific ubiquitin ligase atrogin-1/MAFbx mediates statin-induced muscle toxicity, Journal of Clinical Investigation


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The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Atrogin Breaks Down The Side Effects Of Statins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071109091531.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2007, November 12). Atrogin Breaks Down The Side Effects Of Statins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071109091531.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Atrogin Breaks Down The Side Effects Of Statins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071109091531.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

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