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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 721219, 8 pages
Review Article

The Functional Role of Calcineurin in Hypertrophy, Regeneration, and Disorders of Skeletal Muscle

1Research Center for Physical Fitness, Sports and Health, Toyohashi University of Technology, 1-1 Hibarigaoka, Tenpaku-cho, Toyohashi 441-8580, Japan
2School of Dentistry, Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Kanazawa, Ishikari-Tobetsu, Hokkaido 061-0293, Japan

Received 30 October 2009; Accepted 9 February 2010

Academic Editor: Henk L. M. Granzier

Copyright © 2010 Kunihiro Sakuma and Akihiko Yamaguchi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Skeletal muscle uses calcium as a second messenger to respond and adapt to environmental stimuli. Elevations in intracellular calcium levels activate calcineurin, a serine/threonine phosphatase, resulting in the expression of a set of genes involved in the maintenance, growth, and remodeling of skeletal muscle. In this review, we discuss the effects of calcineurin activity on hypertrophy, regeneration, and disorders of skeletal muscle. Calcineurin is a potent regulator of muscle remodeling, enhancing the differentiation through upregulation of myogenin or MEF2A and downregulation of the Id1 family and myostatin. Foxo may also be a downstream candidate for a calcineurin signaling molecule during muscle regeneration. The strategy of controlling the amount of calcineurin may be effective for the treatment of muscular disorders such as DMD, UCMD, and LGMD. Activation of calcineurin produces muscular hypertrophy of the slow-twitch soleus muscle but not fast-twitch muscles.