Myostatin (also known as growth differentiation factor 8, abbreviated GDF-8) is a protein that in humans is encoded by the MSTN gene. Myostatin is a secreted growth differentiation factor that is a member of the TGF beta protein family that inhibits muscle differentiation and growth in the process known as myogenesis. Myostatin is produced primarily in skeletal muscle cells, circulates in the blood and acts on muscle tissue, by binding a cell-bound receptor called the activin type II receptor.
Animals lacking myostatin or animals treated with substances that block the activity of myostatin have significantly larger muscles. This could be of economic benefit to the livestock industry. However these animals require special care and feeding which offsets the potential economic advantage.
Mutations in both copies of the human myostatin gene results in individuals that have significantly more muscle mass and hence are considerably stronger than normal. Furthermore blocking the activity of myostatin may have therapeutic application in treating muscle wasting diseases such as muscular dystrophy.
Courtesy : AsapSCIENCE
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