New research on link between exercise and mitochondria

Dr David Stroud (Dept of Biochemistry & Pharmacology) and collaborators publish groundbreaking study in Nature Communications.

Mitochondria help turn the energy from food we eat into energy that our cells can use.

In this latest research, Dr Stroud in collaboration with Professor David Bishop (Victoria University), the German Diabetes Center, Monash University, and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, looked at how mitochondria respond to different types of exercise training.

Using state-of-the art equipment at Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute’s Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Faculty, the research team analysed how muscles respond to exercise and successfully linked minutes of exercise to specific mitochondrial changes that support improved metabolism.

They were able to discover ten times more mitochondrial proteins that respond to exercise training than documented in previous studies.

“Some 726 of the proteins were identified, of which 185 were altered with exercise, but we are most excited by the breadth of changes identified as well as the method we developed to detect these changes – previously, research groups have observed more mitochondria overall but didn’t assume much changed, by using our method we identified a previously unseen intricacy in changes,” said Dr Stroud, Head of the Stroud Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry & Pharmacology, School of Biomedical Sciences.

“We hope the method can now be applied to focused studies where we look at different types of exercise to elicit certain responses – for example increasing a certain function of mitochondria to counteract another function that may be defective in a patient with type 2 diabetes.”

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