Adjustments of protein metabolism in fasting arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus

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© 2016 Cassidy et al. This is an openaccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in anymedium, provided the original author and source are credited.Protein metabolism, including the interrelated processes of synthesis and degradation, mediates the growth of an animal. In ectothermic animals, protein metabolism is responsive to changes in both biotic and abiotic conditions. This study aimed to characterise responses of protein metabolism to food deprivation that occur in the coldwater salmonid, Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus. We compared two groups of Arctic charr: one fed continuously and the other deprived of food for 36 days. We measured the fractional rate of protein synthesis (KS) in individuals from the fed and fasted groups using a flooding dose technique modified for the use of deuterium-labelled phenylalanine. The enzyme activities of the three major protein degradation pathways (ubiquitin proteasome, lysosomal cathepsins and the calpain systems) were measured in the same fish. This study is the first to measure both KS and the enzymatic activity of protein degradation in the same fish, allowing us to examine the apparent contribution of different protein degradation pathways to protein turnover in various tissues (red and white muscle, liver, heart and gills). KS was lower in the white muscle and in liver of the fasted fish compared to the fed fish. There were no observable effects of food deprivation on the protease activities in any of the tissues with the exception of liver, where the ubiquitin proteasome pathway seemed to be activated during fasting conditions. Lysosomal proteolysis appears to be the primary degradation pathway for muscle protein, while the ubiquitin proteasome pathway seems to predominate in the liver. We speculate that Arctic charr regulate protein metabolism during food deprivation to conserve proteins.




Cassidy, A. A., Saulnier, R. J., & Lamarre, S. G. (2016). Adjustments of protein metabolism in fasting arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus. PLoS ONE, 11(4).

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