Scientists discover how you can improve your metabolism

To better understand how exercise affects muscle protein content, Hostrup et al. selected eight healthy, untrained male participants for their study. They underwent five weeks of high-intensity cycling.

Researchers are discovering how skeletal muscle adapts to high-intensity interval training, including changes in mechanisms critical to controlling metabolism and muscle contraction.

A study recently published in eLife provided new insight into the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on human skeletal muscle.

According to the study, HIIT increases the number of skeletal muscle proteins that are critical for energy metabolism and muscle contraction, and chemically alters important metabolic proteins. These findings may help explain how HIIT boosts metabolism and open the door to further research into the effects of exercise on these processes.

“Exercise has many beneficial effects that can help prevent and treat metabolic diseases, and this likely results from changes in energy utilization by skeletal muscle.” We wanted to understand how exercise changes the protein content of muscles and how they regulate the activity of these proteins through a chemical reaction called acetylation,” says first and co-corresponding author Morten Hostrup, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. . Acetylation occurs when a member of the small molecule group, acetyl, combines with other molecules and can affect the behavior of proteins.

The scientists recruited eight healthy, untrained male volunteers for their study, who underwent five weeks of intense cycling. The boys exercised three times each week, cycling for four minutes at a target heart rate above 90% of maximum, followed by a two-minute rest. Each session, they went through this process four to five times.

The scientists examined changes in the composition of 3,168 proteins in tissue samples taken from the participants’ thighs before and after the study, using a method called mass spectrometry. Additionally, they looked at changes involving 1263 lysine acetyl-sites on 464 acetylated proteins.

Their analyzes showed an increase in the production of proteins used to build mitochondria, which produce energy in cells, and of proteins associated with muscle contractions. The team also identified increased acetylation of mitochondrial proteins and enzymes involved in cellular energy production. They also observed changes in the number of proteins that reduce the sensitivity of skeletal muscle to calcium, which is essential for muscle contractions.

The results confirm some well-known changes in skeletal muscle proteins that occur after exercise, as well as identify new ones. For example, reduced sensitivity to calcium may explain why it may be more difficult to obtain a muscle contraction after the athlete is fatigued. The work also suggests that exercise-induced changes in protein regulation through acetylation may contribute to enhanced metabolism.

“Using state-of-the-art proteomics technology, our study provides new insights into how skeletal muscle adapts to exercise training, including the identification of novel exercise-regulated proteins and acetyl-sites,” concludes co-author Atul Deshmukh, Associate Professor at the Center for basic metabolic research by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, University of Copenhagen. “We hope our work will stimulate further research into how exercise helps improve metabolic health in humans.”

Reference: “High Intensity Interval Training Remodels the Proteome and Acetylome of Human Skeletal Muscle” by Morten Hostrup, Anders Krog Leminger, Ben Stokes, Alba Gonzalez-Franquesa, Jeppe Kjargaard Larsen, Julia Prats Quesada, Martin Thomassen, Brian Tate Weinert, Jens Bangsbo and Atul Shahaji Deshmukh, 31 May 2022, eLife.
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.69802

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