Scientists discover protein that mimics effects of exercise

14 Janvier, 2020, 17:05 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Exercise Replacement

"The flies without Sestrin did not improve with exercise", said Professor Jun Hee Lee, from MI. The findings could eventually help scientists combat muscle wasting due to aging and other causes. Kim, working with professor Jun Hee Lee, Ph.D. and a team of researchers wanted to know more about the protein's apparent link to exercise. Next, they encouraged their samples, a bunch of Drosophila flies to work out by developing a small treadmill for them.

"Researchers have previously observed that Sestrin accumulates in muscle following exercise", said Myungjin Kim, a research assistant professor at the University of MI in the US.

Taking advantage of Drosophila flies' normal instinct to climb up and out of a test tube, their collaborators from Wayne State University in the U.S. developed a type of fly treadmill. Scientists from the University of MI therefore wanted to see if artificially upping an animal's Sestrin levels could produce the beneficial effects that are associated with the protein.

When they compared the results from both fly batches, they found that the normal flies' ability to run around improved over a period by four to six hours, while the flies without Sestrin did not make any progress without exercise.

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When mice that were bred to lack Sestrin exercised, there were none of the expected improvements in aerobic capacity, respiration, and the ability to burn fat. "The flies without Sestrin did not improve with exercise".

"Flies can usually run around four to six hours at this point and the normal flies' abilities improved over that period". In fact, flies with overexpressed Sestrin didn't develop more endurance when exercised.

Flies with overexpressed Sestrin didn't develop more endurance when exercised. Prof. Myungjin Kim. "This kind of combined effect is important for producing exercise's effects". "This independent study again highlights that Sestrin alone is sufficient to produce many benefits of physical movement and exercise", says Lee.

The scientists are now further exploring the manner in which Sestrin is produced within the body, and are looking into the development of supplements containing the protein. In short, Sestrin could lead to a treatment for people who cannot exercise and help them stay healthy.

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