Most traditional drugs target individual molecules. With this exercise blueprint we have proven that any drug that mimics exercise will need to target multiple molecules and possibly even pathways
Professor David James
The majority of changes they discovered have not previously been associated with exercise, with existing research focusing on just a small number of changes.
“Exercise produces an extremely complex, cascading set of responses within human muscle. It plays an essential role in controlling energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity,” said co-author Dr Nolan Hoffman from the Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Science.
“While scientists have long suspected that exercise causes a complicated series of changes to human muscle, this is the first time we have been able to map exactly what happens.
“This is a major breakthrough, as it allows scientists to use this information to design a drug that mimics the true beneficial changes caused by exercise,” Dr Hoffman said.
With this long-term goal in mind, researchers narrowed down the therapeutic possibilities within the blueprint using mathematical and engineering-based analysis.
“Most traditional drugs target individual molecules. With this exercise blueprint we have proven that any drug that mimics exercise will need to target multiple molecules and possibly even pathways, which are a combination of molecules working together. We believe this is the key to unlocking the riddle of drug treatments to mimic exercise,” Professor James said.
“Our data clearly show the complexity of the response: it is not one thing, but rather the drug will have to target multiple things.
“Our research has provided the roadmap to figure this out.”