Influence of Nrf2 activators on subcellular skeletal muscle protein and DNA synthesis rates after 6 weeks of milk protein feeding in older adults

Adam R. Konopka, Jaime L. Laurin, Robert V. Musci, Christopher A. Wolff, Justin J. Reid, Laurie M. Biela, Qian Zhang, Fredrick F. Peelor, Christopher L. Melby, Karyn L. Hamilton, Benjamin F. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In older adults, chronic oxidative and inflammatory stresses are associated with an impaired increase in skeletal muscle protein synthesis after acute anabolic stimuli. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and Protandim have been shown to activate nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2), a transcription factor for the antioxidant response element and anti-inflammatory pathways. This study tested the hypothesis that compared to a placebo control (CON), CLA and Protandim would increase skeletal muscle subcellular protein (myofibrillar, mitochondrial, cytoplasmic) and DNA synthesis in older adults after 6 weeks of milk protein feeding. CLA decreased oxidative stress and skeletal muscle oxidative damage with a trend to increase messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of a Nrf2 target, NAD(P)H dehydrogenase quinone 1 (NQO1). However, CLA did not influence other Nrf2 targets (heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), glutathione peroxidase 1 (Gpx1)) or protein or DNA synthesis. Conversely, Protandim increased HO-1 protein content but not the mRNA expression of downstream Nrf2 targets, oxidative stress, or skeletal muscle oxidative damage. Rates of myofibrillar protein synthesis were maintained despite lower mitochondrial and cytoplasmic protein syntheses after Protandim versus CON. Similarly, DNA synthesis was non-significantly lower after Protandim compared to CON. After Protandim, the ratio of protein to DNA synthesis tended to be greater in the myofibrillar fraction and maintained in the mitochondrial and cytoplasmic fractions, emphasizing the importance of measuring both protein and DNA synthesis to gain insight into proteostasis. Overall, these data suggest that Protandim may enhance proteostatic mechanisms of skeletal muscle contractile proteins after 6 weeks of milk protein feeding in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-186
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Anabolic resistance
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Proteostasis
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of Nrf2 activators on subcellular skeletal muscle protein and DNA synthesis rates after 6 weeks of milk protein feeding in older adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this