Anabolic effects of feeding β2-adrenergic agonists on rainbow trout muscle proteases and proteins

Mohamed Salem, Haude Levesque, Thomas W. Moon, Caird E. Rexroad, Jianbo Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


β2-Adrenergic agonists (BAAs) act as repartitioning agents in domestic animals by redistributing nutrients away from adipose tissue and towards muscle accretion. The mechanism involves altering the rates of protein degradation and synthesis. The aim of this study was to test the effects of chronic feeding of the BAAs clenbuterol (CLEN) and ractopamine (RACT) on rainbow trout (RBT) muscle. Specifically, we examined the activities and mRNA levels of genes in the major proteolytic pathways including calpains, the multi-catalytic proteasome and cathepsins, and the mRNA levels of genes encoding the myofibrillar proteins, fast-twitch and slow-twitch myosin heavy chains (f-MHC and s-MHC, respectively), and the cytoskeletal protein, β-actin. RACT feeding significantly increased mRNA transcripts of the calpain catalytic subunit (Capn1), the regulatory subunit (cpns), and the calpastatin large isoform (CAST-L), without affecting the calpain enzyme activity. CLEN feeding significantly increased mRNA levels of the proteasome alpha subunit without a corresponding change in 20S enzyme activity. RACT significantly decreased cathepsin D activity without affecting mRNA levels suggesting that the action of RACT may be at the post-transcriptional level. In addition, both CLEN and RACT significantly increased mRNA transcripts of f-MHC and β-actin genes suggesting an anabolic role of BAAs on myofibrillar and cytoskeletal proteins. Neither CLEN nor RACT altered mRNA expression of the s-MHC gene indicating no transformation of muscle fiber-types. This study supports a role for BAAs in inducing RBT muscle accretion by altering both protein synthesis and degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This investigation was supported by Hatch Funds (Project No. 427) of the West Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, a USDA Cooperative Agreement No. 58-1930-8-039, and a grant to TWM from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. It is published with the approval of the Director of the West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station as scientific paper No. 2949.


  • ATF-1
  • Fish
  • Muscle
  • Myosin
  • Proteases
  • β-Adrenergic


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