Efect of valine on myotube insulin sensitivity and metabolism with and without insulin resistance

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Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry


Population data have consistently demonstrated a correlation between circulating branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and insulin resistance. Most recently valine catabolite, 3-hydroxyisobutyrate, has emerged as a potential cause of BCAA-mediated insulin resistance; however, it is unclear if valine independently promotes insulin resistance. It is also unclear if excess valine infuences the ability of cells to degrade BCAA. Therefore, this study investigated the efect of valine on muscle insulin signaling and related metabolism in vitro. C2C12 myotubes were treated with varying concentrations (0.5 mM–2 mM) of valine for up to 48 h. qRT-PCR and western blot were used to measure metabolic gene and protein expression, respectively. Insulin sensitivity (indicated by pAkt:Akt), metabolic gene and protein expression, and cell metabolism were also measured following valine treatment both with and without varying levels of insulin resistance. Mitochondrial and glycolytic metabolism were measured via oxygen consumption and extracellular acidifcation rate, respectively. Valine did not alter regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis or glycolysis; however, valine reduced branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase a (Bckdha) mRNA (but not protein) expression which was exacerbated by insulin resistance. Valine treatment had no efect on pAkt:Akt following either acute or 48-h treatment, regardless of insulin stimulation or varying levels of insulin resistance. In conclusion, despite consistent population data demonstrating a relationship between circulating BCAA (and related metabolites) and insulin resistance, valine does not appear to independently alter insulin sensitivity or worsen insulin resistance in the myotube model of skeletal muscle.



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