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Project title:

Fighting muscle weakness: Regulation of muscle mass by mechanical overload and caloric restriction

Time of implementation:

01.09.2018. - 30.11.2018

Involved countries and institutions:

1. Lithuania, Lithuanian Sports University


2. Germany, Technical University of Munich


Aim(s) of the project:

Hippo proteins regulate organ growth and their dysregulation frequently causes diseases, especially cancer. Wackerhage and others have shown that Hippo proteins play key role in muscle development and regeneration, as well as in embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma which is muscle-related cancer. The aim of the proposed project is to study how Hippo proteins are regulated in skeletal muscle by mechanical overloading and and caloric restriction. For this the Ratkevicius team will expose muscles of mice to chronic overloading and caloric restriction which are two popular interventions aimed at improving muscle health. The samples of these muscles will then be shipped to Germany for further analysis by Wackerhage team. Hippo proteins will be immunoprecipitated and analysed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry by Dr. Tina Ludwig. This analysis will show how Hippo proteins are regulated in response to overload and caloric restriction. This is relevant because we have done drug library for Hippo proteins and in the long term we hope to target Hippo proteins to better preserve muscle mass in the elderly or to mimic the health-promoting effects of caloric restriction.

Workshops “Muscle ageing and health” at the Lithuanian Sports University (1) and Technical University of Munich (2). The aims of these workshops is to inform public about the latest achievements in research on age-related loss of muscle function. Both prof. Henning Wackerhage (TUM) and Aivaras Ratkevicius (LSU) will be speaking at these events.

Target group:

Indirect: The research in this area has a potential to reveal new targets for pharmaceutical interventions against muscle wasting. Various studies show that from 4% up to 29% of people older than 60 years are affected by ageing related muscle wasting. These people could directly benefit from the interventions against sarcopenia

Direct: Two workshops will be organized at the Lithuanian Sports University (LSU) and  Technical University of Munich (TUM). It is expected that about 100 people would attend each workshop.

Main activities of the project and possible venue(s) where the project activities will take place:

1. Lithuanian Sports University, Sporto 6, Kaunas, Lithuania

 a) Experiments on mice followed by muscle sampling for analysis at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

b) Workshop “Muscle ageing and health”.


2. Technical University of Munich (TUM), Munich, Germany:

a) Analysis of muscle samples transported from the Lithuanian Sports University;

b) Workshop “Muscle ageing and health”, to the public


Public events in the frame of the project:

23. November, 13.00 - 16.00

Lithuanian Sports University, Central Building, Lecture Hall 215, Sporto g. 6, Kaunas, Lithuania

Symposium "Fighting Muscle Weakness"




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