Lactate shuttling through the interstitium and vasculature provides a major means of distributing carbohydrate potential energy during exercise. Facilitated lactate exchange occurs between cells organs and tissues as well as between cell compartments by means of lactate, monocarboxylate transport (MCT) proteins. There exist tissue-specific differences in MCT expression and cell domains occupied by MCTs. In mammalian skeletal muscle, two isoforms (MCT1 and MCT4) are expressed. MCT1 exists in the sarcolemma and mitochondria and is associated with oxidative capacity, whereas MCT4 is in sarcolemma only and is higher in fibers with fast myosin isoforms. Muscle MCT1 protein level can be influenced by endurance training and chronic electrical stimulation in vivo, and with cultured L6 myotubes we have been able to affect MCT1 protein levels. Because little is known about the physiological signals affecting MCT expression in vivo, our present goal is to identify the physiological signals affecting expression of MCTs in mammalian skeletal muscle. To achieve our goal, we propose experiments to address three specific aims on L6 myocytes incubated in vitro. To simplify the search to identify the putative signals for muscle MCT expression we move from studies on rats and humans in vivo to studies on L6 myocytes in vitro. Based on responsiveness of MCT protein expression, under Aim 1 we will strive to establish a hierarchy of putative physiological signals determining expression of MCT1 and MCT4. The signals we propose to evaluate are: tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a), H202, Ca++, adenine nucleotide energy charge (ANEC, by AICAR), pH [H v] and lactate anion [La-]. Preliminary results implicate an NF-KB signaling pathway for MCTI. Current literature implicates a pathway related to T3 in controlling MCT4 expression.
Aim 1 studies will involve an assessment of the effects of putative regulators on MCT expression as evaluated by Western blotting.
Aim 2 will be to evaluate the hypothesis that muscle MCT expression is subject to pre-translational control.
Aim 2 studies will involve comparisons of the levels of muscle MCT protein levels and their respective mRNAs in cultured myocytes subjected to ordered levels of putative physiological signals. If protein and message levels are correlated in response to putative stimuli, then Aim 3 will be to evaluate viability of the hypothesis that MCT expression is regulated at the level of transcription.
Aim 3 studies will involve comparisons of the levels of muscle MCT pre-mRNAs, mRNAs and protein levels. We have the tools to achieve the stated aims.
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