Insulin-like growth factor 1 signaling regulates cytosolic sialidase Neu2 expression during myoblast differentiation and hypertrophy

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Cytosolic sialidase (neuraminidase 2; Neu2) is an enzyme whose expression increases during myoblast differentiation. Here we show that insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1)-induced hypertrophy of myoblasts notably increases Neu2 synthesis by activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (P13K/AKT/mTOR) pathway, whereas the proliferative effect mediated by activation of the extracellular regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) pathway negatively contributed to Neu2 activity. Accordingly, the differentiation L6MLC/IGF-1 cell line, in which the forced postmitotic expression of insulin-like growth factor 1 stimulates a dramatic hypertrophy, was accompanied by a stronger Neu2 increase. Indeed, the hypertrophy induced by transfection of a constitutively activated form of AKT was able to induce high Neu2 activity in C2C12 cells, whereas the transfection of a kinase-inactive form of AKT prevented myotube formation, triggering Neu2 downregulation. Neu2 expression was strictly correlated with IGF-1 signaling also in C2 myoblasts overexpressing the insulin-like growth factor 1 binding protein 5 and therefore not responding to endogenously produced insulin-like growth factor 1. Although Neu2-transfected myoblasts exhibited stronger differentiation, we demonstrated that Neu2 overexpression does not override the block of differentiation mediated by PI3 kinase and mTOR inhibitors. Finally, Neu2 overexpression did not modify the ganglioside pattern of C2C12 cells, suggesting that glycoproteins might be the target of Neu2 activity. Taken together, our data demonstrate that IGF-1-induced differentiation and hypertrophy are driven, at least in part, by Neu2 upregulation and further support the significant role of cytosolic sialidase in myoblasts.

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