The E3 ubiquitin ligase MuRF1/TRIM63 was identified 20 years ago and suspected to play important roles during skeletal muscle atrophy. Since then, numerous studies have been conducted to decipher the roles, molecular mechanisms and regulation of this enzyme. This revealed that MuRF1 is an important player in the skeletal muscle atrophy process occurring during catabolic states, making MuRF1 a prime candidate for pharmacological treatments against muscle wasting. Indeed, muscle wasting is an associated event of several diseases (e.g., cancer, sepsis, diabetes, renal failure, etc.) and negatively impacts the prognosis of patients, which has stimulated the search for MuRF1 inhibitory molecules. However, studies on MuRF1 cardiac functions revealed that MuRF1 is also cardioprotective, revealing a yin and yang role of MuRF1, being detrimental in skeletal muscle and beneficial in the heart. This review discusses data obtained on MuRF1, both in skeletal and cardiac muscles, over the past 20 years, regarding the structure, the regulation, the location and the different functions identified, and the first inhibitors reported, and aim to draw the picture of what is known about MuRF1. The review also discusses important MuRF1 characteristics to consider for the design of future drugs to maintain skeletal muscle mass in patients with different pathologies.
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