Can. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 84(2): 273–277 (2006)
Anabolic responsiveness of skeletal muscles correlates with androgen receptor protein but not mRNA
Douglas A. Monks, Will Kopachik, S. Marc Breedlove, and Cynthia L. Jordan
Anabolic effects of androgens on skeletal muscle are well documented, but the physiological and biochemical bases of these effects are poorly understood. Skeletal muscles that differ in their androgen responsiveness can be used to examine these mechanisms. We compared androgen receptor mRNA and protein levels of the rat levator ani, a perineal skeletal muscle that depends on androgens for its normal maintenance and function with that of the rat extensor digitorum longus, a limb muscle that does not require androgens. Western immunoblotting indicated that androgen receptor protein is significantly elevated in the levator ani relative to the extensor digitorum longus. Surprisingly, steady state androgen receptor mRNA levels were equivalent in these muscles, as determined by Northern blot analysis and quantitative RT-PCR. These results suggest that androgen responsiveness of skeletal muscles is determined by the level of androgen receptor protein in a particular muscle and that androgen receptor protein content is regulated by translational or post-translational mechanisms.