Article: An Investigation of p53 in Skeletal Muscle Aging
Authors: Scott M. Ebert, Jason M. Dierdorff, David K. Meyerholz, Steven A. Bullard, Asma Al-Zougbi, Austin D. DeLau, Kristin C. Tomcheck, Zachary P. Skopec, George R. Marcotte, Sue C. Bodine, and Christopher M. Adams
Journal: J Appl Physiol (1985). 2019 Aug 29. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00363.2019. [Epub ahead of print]
Age-related skeletal muscle atrophy is a very common and serious condition that remains poorly understood at the molecular level. Several lines of evidence have suggested that the tumor suppressor p53 may play a central, causative role in skeletal muscle aging, whereas other, apparently contradictory lines of evidence have suggested that p53 may be critical for normal skeletal muscle function. To help address these issues, we performed an aging study in male muscle-specific p53 knockout mice (p53 mKO mice), which have lifelong absence of p53 expression in skeletal muscle fibers. We found that the absence of p53 expression in skeletal muscle fibers had no apparent deleterious or beneficial effects on skeletal muscle mass or function under basal conditions up to 6 months of age, when mice are fully grown and exhibit peak muscle mass and function. Furthermore, at 22 and 25 months of age, when age-related muscle weakness and atrophy are clearly evident in mice, p53 mKO mice demonstrated no improvement or worsening of skeletal muscle mass or function relative to littermate control mice. At advanced ages, p53 mKO mice began to die prematurely and had an increased incidence of osteosarcoma, precluding analyses of muscle mass and function in very old p53 mKO mice. Based on these results, we conclude that p53 expression in skeletal muscle fibers has minimal if any direct, cell autonomous effect on basal or age-related changes in skeletal muscle mass and function up to at least 22 months of age.
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