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The growth-promoting activity of egg white proteins in the C2C12 myoblast cell line

Significance statement


Eggs are one of the most economical animal protein sources, possessing the highest nutritional content. Egg white proteins contain many kinds of proteins, including ovalbumin, ovotransferrin, ovomucoid, and lysozyme that constitute 54%, 13%, 11%, and 3.5% of the egg white respectively. It is known that several egg white proteins affect various cell growth. Stimulated proliferation of muscle satellite cells is expected to increase skeletal muscle hypertrophy and regeneration. We speculated that dietary intake of egg white proteins could stimulate the proliferation of muscle satellite cells because egg white proteins affect cell growth. As a result, ovalbumin and ovomucoid increased both the proliferation of undifferentiated C2C12 myoblasts and the growth of differentiated C2C12 myotubes. Interestingly, ovalbumin or ovomucoid showed no significant proliferative effects on mouse 3T3-L1 cells which are categorized as preadipocytes, suggesting that egg white proteins stimulate proliferation of muscle cells but not adipocytes (differentiating into adipose tissue). Our results clearly suggest a possibility of an application of egg white proteins to increase skeletal muscle mass.

Figure Legend :  Effects of egg white proteins (ovalbumin and ovomucoid) on the proliferation of C2C12 cells. Images of Giemsa-stained cells that had been cultured for 72 h in the absence (control) or presence of 10-4 M ovalbumin or ovomucoid. Scale bars, 200 μm.

*This image was published in original manuscript by Wataru Mizunoya, Ayumi Tashima, Yusuke Sato, Ryuichi Tatsumi and Yoshihide Ikeuchi. The growth-promoting activity of egg white proteins in the C2C12 myoblast cell line. Animal Science Journal, 2015, 86 (2): 194-199.


The growth-promoting activity of egg white proteins in the C2C12 myoblast cell line






Journal Reference

Mizunoya W, Tashima A, Sato Y, Tatsumi R, Ikeuchi Y. Anim Sci J. 2015 Feb;86(2):194-9.

Department of Bioresource Sciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


In this study, we examined the effects of several egg white proteins (ovalbumin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin and lysozyme) on proliferation and myotube growth in C2C12 murine myoblast cells. Cell proliferation was measured using a water-soluble tetrazolium salt (WST-8)-based assay and then validated using Giemsa staining. Significant proliferative activities of C2C12 cells were observed in response to the addition of 10(-5) -10(-4) mol/L ovalbumin or ovomucoid. Ovotransferrin decreased C2C12 cell proliferation and lysozyme showed no significant effects on the proliferation ofC2C12 cells. In contrast, the proliferative effects of ovalbumin and ovomucoid were not observed in 3T3-L1 murine preadipocyte cells. We also measured the effects of ovalbumin and ovomucoid on C2C12 myotube diameters by using histological analysis. In comparison to control cells, myotube diameters were significantly increased in cells cultured in 10(-6) -10(-4) mol/L ovalbumin or ovomucoid, suggesting that ovalbumin and ovomucoid stimulate the growth of myotubes. Thus, our results clearly demonstrated that ovalbumin or ovomucoid stimulated the proliferation of myoblasts and growth of myotubes.

© 2014 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

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