IGF-II transcription in skeletal myogenesis is controlled by mTOR and nutrients

Ebru Erbay, In Hyun Park, Paul D. Nuzzi, Christopher J. Schoenherr, Jie Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are essential for skeletal muscle development, regeneration, and hypertrophy. Although autocrine actions of IGF-II are known to initiate myoblast differentiation, the regulatory elements and upstream signaling pathways for myogenic expression of IGF-II remain elusive. Here, we report the regulation of IGF-II transcription by mTOR, as well as by amino acid sufficiency, through the IGF-II promoter 3 and a downstream enhancer during C2C12 myoblast differentiation. Furthermore, we present evidence that IGF production, and not IGF signaling, is the primary target for mTOR's function in the initiation of differentiation. Moreover, myogenic signaling by mTOR is independent of its kinase activity and mediated by the PI3K-Akt pathway. Our findings represent the first identification of a signaling pathway that regulates IGF-II expression in myogenesis and implicate the mTOR-IGF axis as a molecular link between nutritional levels and skeletal muscle development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)931-936
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 8 2003


  • Akt
  • IGF
  • PI3K
  • Rapamycin
  • Skeletal muscle differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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