Changes in nucleic acid and protein levels in atrophying skeletal muscle in cancer cachexia

Ameek S. Bhogal, Maria L. Lorite, Michael J. Tisdale*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To investigate factors responsible for muscle loss in cachexia changes in nucleic acid and protein levels have been determined and compared with those induced by a tumour-produced cachectic factor, proteolysis-inducing factor (PIF). Materials and Methods: Mice were transplanted with the MAC16 tumour, while non-tumour bearing mice received PIF (1.5 mg/kg; i.v.) over a 24 h period. Results: There was an exponential decrease in RNA and protein in gastrocnemius muscle with weight loss without an effect on the DNA content. Levels of myosin followed the decrease in total protein, while actin levels remained constant. There was also a significant loss of protein from soleus muscle and spleen, but not from heart, liver and kidney. PIF also produced a significant loss of RNA and protein in spleen and reduced the protein content of soleus muscle. Conclusion: This suggests that PIF may be responsible for changes in protein and RNA content of tissues with the development of cachexia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4149-4154
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number6B
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


  • cancer cachexia
  • muscle protein
  • RNA


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