The AMPK/p27Kip1 Axis Regulates Autophagy/Apoptosis Decisions in Aged Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells.
Skeletal muscle stem cell (MuSC) function declines with age and contributes to impaired muscle regeneration in older individuals. Acting through AMPK/p27Kip1, we have identified a pathway regulating the balance between autophagy, apoptosis, and senescence in aged MuSCs. While p27Kip1 is implicated in MuSC aging, its precise role and molecular mechanism have not been elucidated. Age-related MuSC dysfunction was associated with reduced autophagy, increased apoptosis, and hypophosphorylation of AMPK and its downstream target p27Kip1. AMPK activation or ectopic expression of a phosphomimetic p27Kip1 mutant was sufficient to suppress in vitro apoptosis, increase proliferation, and improve in vivo transplantation efficiency of aged MuSCs. Moreover, activation of the AMPK/p27Kip1 pathway reduced markers of cell senescence in aged cells, which was, in part, dependent on p27Kip1 phosphorylation. Thus, the AMPK/p27Kip1 pathway likely regulates the autophagy/apoptosis balance in aged MuSCs and may be a potential target for improving muscle regeneration in older individuals.
White, JP; Billin, AN; Campbell, ME; Russell, AJ; Huffman, KM; Kraus, WE
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