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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Volume 18(1); 2005 > Article
Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2005;18(1): 133-140.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2005.133    Published online April 19, 2005.
Effect of Orally Administered Branched-chain Amino Acids on Protein Synthesis and Degradation in Rat Skeletal Muscle
Fumiaki Yoshizawa, Takashi Nagasawa, Kunio Sugahara
Abstract
Although amino acids are substrates for the synthesis of proteins and nitrogen-containing compounds, it has become more and more clear over the years that these nutrients are also extremely important as regulators of body protein turnover. The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) together or simply leucine alone stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit protein breakdown in skeletal muscle. However, it was only recently that the mechanism(s) involved in the regulation of protein turnover by BCAAs has begun to be defined. The acceleration of protein synthesis by these amino acids seems to occur at the level of peptide chain initiation. Oral administration of leucine to food-deprived rats enhances muscle protein synthesis, in part, through activation of the mRNA binding step of translation initiation. Despite our knowledge of the induction of protein synthesis by BCAAs, there are few studies on the suppression of protein degradation. The recent findings that oral administration of leucine rapidly reduced N-methylhistidine (3-methylhistidine; MeHis) release from isolated muscle, an index of myofibrillar protein degradation, indicate that leucine suppresses myofiblilar protein degradation. The details of the molecular mechanism by which leucine inhibits proteolysis is just beginning to be elucidated. The purpose of this report was to review the current understanding of how BCAAs act as regulators of protein turnover.
Keywords: Branched-chain amino acids; Protein synthesis; mRNA translation; Protein degradation; Skeletal muscle; Rats


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