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Biochemistry and Biology of GDF11 and Myostatin: Similarities, Differences, and Questions for Future Investigation

Abstract : Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) and myostatin (or GDF8) are closely related members of the transforming growth factor β superfamily and are often perceived to serve similar or overlapping roles. Yet, despite commonalities in protein sequence, receptor utilization and signaling, accumulating evidence suggests that these 2 ligands can have distinct functions in many situations. GDF11 is essential for mammalian development and has been suggested to regulate aging of multiple tissues, whereas myostatin is a well-described negative regulator of postnatal skeletal and cardiac muscle mass and modulates metabolic processes. In this review, we discuss the biochemical regulation of GDF11 and myostatin and their functions in the heart, skeletal muscle, and brain. We also highlight recent clinical findings with respect to a potential role for GDF11 and/or myostatin in humans with heart disease. Finally, we address key outstanding questions related to GDF11 and myostatin dynamics and signaling during development, growth, and aging.
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Contributor : Lida Katsimpardi <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 11:02:56 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 1:40:09 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 10:30:01 AM

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Ryan G Walker, Tommaso Poggioli, Lida Katsimpardi, Sean M. Buchanan, Juhyun Oh, et al.. Biochemistry and Biology of GDF11 and Myostatin: Similarities, Differences, and Questions for Future Investigation. Circulation Research, American Heart Association, 2016, 118 (7), pp.1125-1142. ⟨10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.116.308391.⟩. ⟨pasteur-01301386⟩

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