Nitric Oxide Regulates Skeletal Muscle Fatigue, Fiber Type, Microtubule Organization, and Mitochondrial ATP Synthesis Efficiency Through cGMP-Dependent Mechanisms

Younghye Moon, Jordan E. Balke, Derik Madorma, Michael P. Siegel, Gary Knowels, Peter Brouckaert, Emmanuel S. Buys, David J. Marcinek, Justin Percival

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Aim: Skeletal muscle nitric oxide-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (NO-cGMP) pathways are impaired in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy partly because of reduced nNOSμ and soluble guanylate cyclase (GC) activity. However, GC function and the consequences of reduced GC activity in skeletal muscle are unknown. In this study, we explore the functions of GC and NO-cGMP signaling in skeletal muscle. Results: GC1, but not GC2, expression was higher in oxidative than glycolytic muscles. GC1 was found in a complex with nNOSμ and targeted to nNOS compartments at the Golgi complex and neuromuscular junction. Baseline GC activity and GC agonist responsiveness was reduced in the absence of nNOS. Structural analyses revealed aberrant microtubule directionality in GC1-/- muscle. Functional analyses of GC1-/- muscles revealed reduced fatigue resistance and postexercise force recovery that were not due to shifts in type IIA-IIX fiber balance. Force deficits in GC1-/- muscles were also not driven by defects in resting mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthesis. However, increasing muscle cGMP with sildenafil decreased ATP synthesis efficiency and capacity, without impacting mitochondrial content or ultrastructure. Innovation: GC may represent a new target for alleviating muscle fatigue and that NO-cGMP signaling may play important roles in muscle structure, contractility, and bioenergetics. Conclusions: These findings suggest that GC activity is nNOS dependent and that muscle-specific control of GC expression and differential GC targeting may facilitate NO-cGMP signaling diversity. They suggest that nNOS regulates muscle fiber type, microtubule organization, fatigability, and postexercise force recovery partly through GC1 and suggest that NO-cGMP pathways may modulate mitochondrial ATP synthesis efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)966-985
Number of pages20
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number17
StatePublished - Jun 10 2017



  • fatigue
  • microtubules
  • mitochondria
  • NNOS
  • PDE5
  • soluble guanylate cyclase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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