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1.  The actions of exogenous leucine on mTOR signalling and amino acid transporters in human myotubes 
BMC Physiology  2011;11:10.
Background
The branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) leucine has been identified to be a key regulator of skeletal muscle anabolism. Activation of anabolic signalling occurs via the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) through an undefined mechanism. System A and L solute carriers transport essential amino acids across plasma membranes; however it remains unknown whether an exogenous supply of leucine regulates their gene expression. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of acute and chronic leucine stimulation of anabolic signalling and specific amino acid transporters, using cultured primary human skeletal muscle cells.
Results
Human myotubes were treated with leucine, insulin or co-treated with leucine and insulin for 30 min, 3 h or 24 h. Activation of mTOR signalling kinases were examined, together with putative nutrient sensor human vacuolar protein sorting 34 (hVps34) and gene expression of selected amino acid transporters. Phosphorylation of mTOR and p70S6K was transiently increased following leucine exposure, independently to insulin. hVps34 protein expression was also significantly increased. However, genes encoding amino acid transporters were differentially regulated by insulin and not leucine.
Conclusions
mTOR signalling is transiently activated by leucine within human myotubes independently of insulin stimulation. While this occurred in the absence of changes in gene expression of amino acid transporters, protein expression of hVps34 increased.
doi:10.1186/1472-6793-11-10
PMCID: PMC3141572  PMID: 21702994
2.  JAK/STAT signaling and human in vitro myogenesis 
BMC Physiology  2011;11:6.
Background
A population of satellite cells exists in skeletal muscle. These cells are thought to be primarily responsible for postnatal muscle growth and injury-induced muscle regeneration. The Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) signaling cascade has a crucial role in regulating myogenesis. In rodent skeletal muscle, STAT3 is essential for satellite cell migration and myogenic differentiation, regulating the expression of myogenic factors. The aim of the present study was to investigate and compare the expression profile of JAK/STAT family members, using cultured primary human skeletal muscle cells.
Results
Near confluent proliferating myoblasts were induced to differentiate for 1, 5 or 10 days. During these developmental stages, members of the JAK/STAT family were examined, along with factors known to regulate myogenesis. We demonstrate the phosphorylation of JAK1 and STAT1 only during myoblast proliferation, while JAK2 and STAT3 phosphorylation increases during differentiation. These increases were correlated with the upregulation of genes associated with muscle maturation and hypertrophy.
Conclusions
Taken together, these results provide insight into JAK/STAT signaling in human skeletal muscle development, and confirm recent observations in rodents.
doi:10.1186/1472-6793-11-6
PMCID: PMC3063215  PMID: 21388555

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