Regulation of Proteins in Human Skeletal Muscle: The Role of Transcription

Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 26;10(1):3514. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-60578-2.


Regular low intensity aerobic exercise (aerobic training) provides effective protection against various metabolic disorders. Here, the roles played by transient transcriptome responses to acute exercise and by changes in baseline gene expression during up-regulation of protein content in human skeletal muscle were investigated after 2 months of aerobic training. Seven untrained males were involved in a 2 month aerobic cycling training program. Mass-spectrometry and RNA sequencing were used to evaluate proteome and transcriptome responses to training and acute exercise. We found that proteins with different functions are regulated differently at the transcriptional level; for example, a training-induced increase in the content of extracellular matrix-related proteins is regulated at the transcriptional level, while an increase in the content of mitochondrial proteins is not. An increase in the skeletal muscle content of several proteins (including mitochondrial proteins) was associated with increased protein stability, which is related to a chaperone-dependent mechanism and/or reduced regulation by proteolysis. These findings increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of protein expression in human skeletal muscle subjected to repeated stress (long term aerobic training) and may provide an opportunity to control the expression of specific proteins (e.g., extracellular matrix-related proteins, mitochondrial proteins) through physiological and/or pharmacological approaches.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bicycling
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology*
  • Transcriptome / physiology*


  • Muscle Proteins