Nicotinamide riboside kinases display redundancy in mediating nicotinamide mononucleotide and nicotinamide riboside metabolism in skeletal muscle cells

Written by
Rachel S. Fletcher
Published on
August 30, 2021 at 3:58:00 PM PDT August 30, 2021 at 3:58:00 PM PDTth, August 30, 2021 at 3:58:00 PM PDT

Authors: Fletcher RS, Ratajczak J, Doig CL, Oakey LA, Callingham R, Xavier GDS, Garten A, Elhassan YS, Redpath P, Migaud ME, Philp A, Brenner C, Canto C, Lavery GG



Augmenting nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) availability may protect skeletal muscle from age-related metabolic decline. Dietary supplementation of NAD+ precursors nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) and nicotinamide riboside (NR) appear efficacious in elevating muscle NAD+. Here we sought to identify the pathways skeletal muscle cells utilize to synthesize NAD+ from NMN and NR and provide insight into mechanisms of muscle metabolic homeostasis.


We exploited expression profiling of muscle NAD+ biosynthetic pathways, single and double nicotinamide riboside kinase 1/2 (NRK1/2) loss-of-function mice, and pharmacological inhibition of muscle NAD+ recycling to evaluate NMN and NR utilization.


Skeletal muscle cells primarily rely on nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), NRK1, and NRK2 for salvage biosynthesis of NAD+. NAMPT inhibition depletes muscle NAD+ availability and can be rescued by NR and NMN as the preferred precursors for elevating muscle cell NAD+ in a pathway that depends on NRK1 and NRK2. Nrk2 knockout mice develop normally and show subtle alterations to their NAD+ metabolome and expression of related genes. NRK1, NRK2, and double KO myotubes revealed redundancy in the NRK dependent metabolism of NR to NAD+. Significantly, these models revealed that NMN supplementation is also dependent upon NRK activity to enhance NAD+ availability.


These results identify skeletal muscle cells as requiring NAMPT to maintain NAD+ availability and reveal that NRK1 and 2 display overlapping function in salvage of exogenous NR and NMN to augment intracellular NAD+ availability.

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