Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Role of gene regulator in skeletal muscles demonstrated

Fast muscles, such as the thigh muscle in a sprinter, deliver energy quickly but fatigue quickly. Slow muscles, such as the soleus muscle in the lower calf, are less forceful but important for posture and endurance.

Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Virginia Tech have discovered one gene regulator that maintains the fast muscle type and inhibits the development of a slow muscle type.

The research was posted in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' online early edition on June 1 in the article, "Concerted regulation of myofiber-specific gene expression and muscle performance by the transcriptional repressor Sox6," by Daniel Quiat of UT Southwestern, Kevin Voelker of Virginia Tech, Jimin Pei and Nick V. Grishin of UT Southwestern, Robert Grange of Virginia Tech, and Rhonda Bassel-Duby and Eric N. Olson of UT Southwestern.

"Based on previous studies by our group and others, we knew that a gene regulator called Sox6 promotes development of fast muscle in the embryo," said Olson, professor of molecular biology. "But the function of Sox6 in adult muscle was unknown."

By studying adult mice that lacked Sox6 in fast muscles, the researchers observed that fast muscle took on the performance attributes of slow muscles.

Virginia Tech's role in the research project was to measure muscle performance. "We demonstrated experimentally that there were functional changes that supported the development of slow muscle," said Grange, associate professor of human nutrition, food, and exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. At Virginia Tech, he worked with Voelker, a postdoctoral associate in the department.

"The most obvious change is the speed at which muscle can shorten," said Grange. "Fast muscle shortens quickly; but, in the absence of Sox6, our measurements showed that fast muscle shortened more slowly and the muscle was less fatigued after contracting for several minutes. Both of these muscle performance changes demonstrated that a fast muscle that lacked Sox6 became more like a slow muscle."

"Skeletal muscles can adapt based on the stress imposed," explains Grange. "For example, if you lift weights, your muscles become stronger; if you run long distances, your muscles become less fatigued. What we don't yet know fully is how adaptations occur at the gene level and protein level in response to these different stresses. The current study is an important step to understand how muscle adaptation occurs."

Although applications of the new information are distant, Grange points out, "The more you know about how the body works, the easier it is to keep it healthy."

"We might be able to manipulate gene regulators by training in a certain way. We don't know what that is, but that is one of the objectives. From a muscle disease perspective, there may be characteristics that lead back to the proteins that control adaptations, such as Sox6," said Grange.

"You cannot have adaptations in the muscle unless there are changes in the genes turned on and those turned off. The genes turned on produce the proteins responsible for the muscle adaptation" he said. "The most exciting aspect of the study was that we clearly demonstrated changes in muscle function from a fast type to a slow type of skeletal muscle that was dependent on the absence of Sox6."

Link to the article:

Susan Trulove | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>