What is Follistatin-344?
Follistatin-344 is a synthetic full-sized version of a naturally occurring protein in the body. You can find it in the tissues of all higher animals. Follistatin-344 occurs in two isomers varying based on their gene splicing. Its primary role in the body is to counteract the effect of the Tumor Growth Factor-beta (TGF-beta) family. The TGF-beta family comprises myostatin, activin, and Follicle Stimulating Growth Hormone (FSH). Follistatin-344 acts by stimulating Insulin/IGF-1 pathway, and there is an immense deal of potential in Follistatin-344 research. It’s frequently studied owing to its role in several human conditions ranging from muscle dysfunction to cancer and diabetes.
SYNONYMS: Activin-binding protein, FST, FSH- Suppressing protein
MOLECULAR WEIGHT: 3780 g/mol
SEQUENCE: MVRARHQPGG LCLLLLLLCQ FMEDRSAQAG NCWLRQAKNG RCQVLYKTEL SKEECCSTGR LSTSWTEEDV NDNTLFKWMI FNGGAPNCIP CKETCENVDC GPGKKCRMNK KNKPRCVCAP DCSNITWKGP VCGLDGKTYR NECALLKARC KEQPELEVQY QGRCKKTCRD VFCPGSSTCV VDQTNNAYCV TCNRICPEPA SSEQYLCGND GVTYSSACHL RKATCLLGRS IGLAYEGKCI KAKSCEDIQC TGGKKCLWDF KVGRGRCSLC DELCPDSKSD EPVCASDNAT YASECAMKEA ACSSGVLLEV KHSGSCNSIS EDTEEEEEDE DQDYSFPISS ILEW
1. Effects on Muscle Growth:
Myostatin is a naturally occurring protein in the body that belongs to the TGF-1 family. It inhibits muscle growth in the body. Numerous studies have provided evidence to support the inhibitory effect of Follistattin on myostatin.
A comparative study indicated that animals with this protein tend to have greater muscle mass than naturally lacking it. Follistatin-344 increases muscle mass by hyperplasia (increase in the number of muscle fibers) and hypertrophy (increase in muscle fiber). Interestingly, the administration of Follistatin-344 increased the muscle mass in the mice in the absence of other muscle-building factors. The muscle-building factors refer to exercise and a special diet. It also implies that the administration of Follistatin-344 can provide multiplied benefits when supplemented with a special diet and appropriate training.
This property of Follistatin-344 to promote muscle growth and enhance muscle strength is of great significance in diseases involving muscular dystrophy. Studies have demonstrated the ability of Follistatin-344 to reduce inflammation and fibrosis. Its property promotes muscle growth, which can treat inflammatory muscular dystrophies such as Duchene Muscular Dystrophy.
Researchers can do Follistatin-344 administration via the intradermal route. However, studies have indicated that past gene administration of Follistatin-344 provides a sustained duration of effects for as long as two years. These effects on muscle growth are independent of the age of the subject.
Improved Survival for Breast Cancer: A clinical study in breast cancer patients used immune-histochemistry and Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). The study reported under-expression of Follistatin-344 in a majority while over-expression in a small number of patients. The over-expression of Follistatin was associated with a better prognosis, as per the studies for ABC monomer suggestion. It prevented metastasis of the tumor but increased its growth. On the contrary, under-expression of Follistatin-344 led to higher incidences of metastasis.
A study done on a mouse model of HER-2 positive breast cancer showed that Follistatin-344 prevents activin-induced migration of epithelial cells in breast tissue. This property of Follistatin prevents metastasis without increasing the growth of the tumor mass. A study done on cases involving benign proliferative diseases of the breast indicated over-expression of Follistatin. This fact again shows the anti-metastatic potential of Follistatin.
2. Effect on Esophageal Carcinoma:
Barret’s esophagus is a pre-malignant condition of Esophageal Carcinoma. It involves the conversion of Squamous epithelium into columnar with goblet cells. Bone Morphogenic Protein (BMP) is responsible for this metaplasia. Frequent acid reflux in the esophagus leads to over-activation of BMP and ultimately leads to cancer.
Studies have provided evidence of the role of Follistatin-344 in countering the effects of BMP. This manner is how the administration of Follistatin can prevent the development of esophageal cancer.
There is a varying response towards Follistatin-344 expression in different types of tumors. In Esophageal tumors, it improves survival, whereas it shortens survival in lung and ovarian tumors. This variation is why it is essential to understand how various tumors respond to Follistatin-344 administration. This knowledge will help in its use as adjuvant therapy in treating cancers.
Research involving rats indicated the ability of Follistatin-344 to reduce the extent of fibrosis in the liver by 32%. This capability improves the lifespan of hepatocytes and prevents the progression of fibrosis into liver cancer.
3. Role in Diabetes Mellitus:
An experiment on mice indicated that the over-expression of Follistatin-344 increased the mass of beta-cells in the pancreas. It led to enhanced production of insulin and better control of blood sugar. Treatment with Follistatin-344 doubled the lifespan of these mice as it virtually eliminated all the complications of diabetes. Follistatin-344 provides a physiological control of blood sugar and has an effect similar to insulin.
4. Other Roles
In addition to the roles mentioned above, this peptide can have the following effects on the body:
1. Follistatin-344 use during pregnancy ensures optic nerve fusion in the developing fetus.
2. Follistatin-344 increases hair density and enhances hair thickness. This effect is more pronounced when FollistAboutgrowth stimulants. It can, therefore, have these animal studies used in the management of conditions such as alopecia.