Nerve Activity-dependent Modulation of Calcineurin Signaling in Adult Fast and Slow Skeletal Muscle Fibers

Shannon E. Dunn, Alain R. Simard, Rhonda Bassel-Duby, R. Sanders Williams, Robin N. Michel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


This study tested the hypothesis that calcineurin signaling is modulated in skeletal muscle cells by fluctuations in nerve-mediated activity. We show that dephosphorylation of NFATc1, MEF2A, and MEF2D transcription factors by calcineurin in all muscle types is dependent on nerve activity and positively correlated with muscle usage under normal weightbearing conditions. With increased nerve-mediated activity, calcineurin dephosphorylation of these targets was found to be potentiated in a way that paralleled the higher muscle activation profiles associated with functional overload or nerve electrical stimulation conditions. We also establish that muscle activity must be sustained above native levels for calcineurin-dependent dephosphorylation of MEF2A and MEF2D to be transduced into an increase in MEF2 transcriptional function, suggesting that calcineurin cooperates with other activity-linked events to signal via these proteins. Finally, examination of individual fiber responses to overload and nerve electrical stimulation revealed that calcineurin-MEF2 signaling occurs in all fiber types but most readily in fibers that are normally least active (i.e. those expressing IIx and IIb myosin heavy chain (MHC)), suggesting that signaling via this phosphatase is also dependent upon the activation history of the muscle cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45243-45254
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number48
StatePublished - Nov 30 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Nerve Activity-dependent Modulation of Calcineurin Signaling in Adult Fast and Slow Skeletal Muscle Fibers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this