Myostatin (also known as growth differentiation factor 8, abbreviated GDF-8) is a myokine. A myokine is a protein produced and released by myocytes that acts on the autocrine function of muscle cells to inhibit myogenesis: muscle cell growth and differentiation. In humans it is encoded by the MSTN gene. Myostatin is a secreted growth differentiation factor that is a member of the TGF beta protein family. Myostatin also inhibits Akt, a kinase that causes muscle hypertrophy, in part through the activation of protein synthesis. Further research into myostatin and the myostatin gene may lead to therapies for muscular dystrophy.
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