Researchers have identified a gene that promotes muscle strength when activated by physical activity, unlocking the potential for developing therapeutic treatments to mimic some of the benefits of training.
Posted in Cellular Metabolism, the study led by the University of Melbourne showed how different types of exercise change molecules in our muscles, leading to the discovery of the new gene C18ORF25 which is activated with all types of exercise and responsible for promoting muscle strength. Animals without C18ORF25 have poor physical performance and weaker muscles.
Project leader Dr Benjamin Parker said that by turning on the C18ORF25 gene, the research team could see muscles get much stronger, without them necessarily getting bigger.
“Identifying this gene may impact how we manage healthy aging, muscle wasting disease, sports science, and even livestock and meat production. of optimal muscle function is one of the strongest predictors of overall health,” said Dr. Parker.
“We know that exercise can prevent and treat chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many cancers. Now, we hope that by better understanding how different types of exercise elicit these beneficial health effects in molecular level, the field will be able to work to make new and improved treatment options available.”
In the study, a collaboration between Dr Parker and Professors Erik Richter and Bente Kiens of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, the team was able to identify molecular similarities and differences between different types of exercise in the biopsies. human muscles by analyzing proteins and how they change inside cells.
“To identify how genes and proteins are activated during and after different exercises, we performed an analysis of human skeletal muscle from a cross-intervention of endurance, sprint and resistance exercise,” said the Dr Parker.
The experimental design allowed researchers to compare signaling responses between exercise modalities in the same individual, relative to their level before exercise. This meant that they could monitor how an individual reacted to different types of exercise directly in their muscles.
Importantly, it also allowed the research team to identify genes and proteins that constantly change across all individuals and exercise types, leading to the discovery of the new gene.
This work was supported by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant (APP1122376), Diabetes Australia Grant, University of Melbourne Driving Research Momentum Grant and NHMRC Emerging Grant. Leader Investigator Grant (APP2009642) to Dr. Benjamin Parker.
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