Phytoecdysteroids increase protein synthesis in skeletal muscle cells

Jonathan Gorelick-Feldman, David MacLean, Nebojsa Ilic, Alexander Poulev, Mary Ann Lila, Diana Cheng, Ilya Raskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Phytoecdysteroids, which are structurally similar or identical to insect molting hormones, produce a range of effects in mammals, including increasing growth and physical performance. To study the mechanism of action of phytoecdysteroids in mammalian tissue, an in vitro cellular assay of protein synthesis was developed. In C2C12 murine myotubes and human primary myotubes, phytoecdy steroids increased protein synthesis by up to 20%. In vivo, ecdysteroids increased rat grip strength. Ecdysteroid-containing plant extracts produced similar results. The effect was inhibited by a phosphoinositide kinase-3 inhibitor, which suggests a PI3K-mediated mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3532-3537
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


  • Ajuga
  • C2C12
  • Ecdysteroid
  • Myotube
  • Protein synthesis
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Spinach


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