Activation of mRNA translation in rat cardiac myocytes by insulin involves multiple rapamycin-sensitive steps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Insulin acutely activates protein synthesis in ventricular cardiomyocytes from adult rats. In this study, we have established the methodology for studying the regulation of the signaling pathways and translation factors that may be involved in this response and have examined the effects of acute insulin treatment on them. Insulin rapidly activated the 70-kDa ribosomal S6 kinase (p70 S6k), and this effect was inhibited both by rapamycin and by inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. The activation of p70 S6k is mediated by a signaling pathway involving the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which also modulates other translation factors. These include the eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4E binding proteins (4E-BPs) and eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2). Insulin caused phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and induced its dissociation from eIF4E, and these effects were also blocked by rapamycin. Concomitant with this, insulin increased the binding of eIF4E to eIF4G. Insulin also activated protein kinase B (PKB), which may lie upstream of p70 S6k and 4E-BP1, with the activation of the different isoforms being in the order α>β>γ. Insulin also caused inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3, which lies downstream of PKB, and of eEF2 kinase. The phosphorylation of eEF2 itself was also decreased by insulin, and this effect and the inactivation of eEF2 kinase were attenuated by rapamycin. The activation of overall protein synthesis by insulin in cardiomyocytes was substantially inhibited by rapamycin (but not by inhibitors of other specific signaling pathways, e.g., mitogen-activated protein kinase), showing that signaling events linked to mTOR play a major role in the control of translation by insulin in this cell type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1056-H1068
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number4 47-4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart
  • Initiation factor
  • Protein kinase
  • Protein synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this