Skeletal Muscle Reprogramming by Activation of Calcineurin Improves Insulin Action on Metabolic Pathways

Jeffrey W. Ryder, Rhonda Bassel-Duby, Eric N. Olson, Juleen R. Zierath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


The protein phosphatase calcineurin is a signaling intermediate that induces the transformation of fast-twitch skeletal muscle fibers to a slow-twitch phenotype. This reprogramming of the skeletal muscle gene expression profile may have therapeutic applications for metabolic disease. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle is both impaired in individuals with type II diabetes mellitus and positively correlated with the percentage of slow- versus fast-twitch muscle fibers. Using transgenic mice expressing activated calcineurin in skeletal muscle, we report that skeletal muscle reprogramming by calcineurin activation leads to improved insulin-stimulated 2-deoxyglucose uptake in extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles compared with wild-type mice, concomitant with increased protein expression of the insulin receptor, Akt, glucose transporter 4, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ co-activator 1. Transgenic mice exhibited elevated glycogen deposition, enhanced amino acid uptake, and increased fatty acid oxidation in EDL muscle. When fed a high-fat diet, transgenic mice maintained superior rates of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in EDL muscle and were protected against diet-induced glucose intolerance. These results validate calcineurin as a target for enhancing insulin action in skeletal muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44298-44304
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 7 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Skeletal Muscle Reprogramming by Activation of Calcineurin Improves Insulin Action on Metabolic Pathways'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this