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Skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise training is a consequence of repeated contraction-induced increases in gene expression that lead to the accumulation of functional proteins whose role is to blunt the homeostatic perturbations generated by escalations in energetic demand and substrate turnover. The development of a specific ‘exercise phenotype’ is the result of new, augmented steady-state mRNA and protein levels that stem from the training stimulus (i.e. endurance or resistance based). Maintaining appropriate skeletal muscle integrity to meet the demands of training (i.e. increases in myofibrillar and/or mitochondrial protein) is regulated by cyclic phases of synthesis and breakdown, the rate and turnover largely determined by the protein's half-life. Cross-talk among several intracellular systems regulating protein synthesis, breakdown and folding is required to ensure protein equilibrium is maintained. These pathways include both proteasomal and lysosomal degradation systems (ubiquitin-mediated and autophagy, respectively) and the protein translational and folding machinery. The activities of these cellular pathways are bioenergetically expensive and are modified by intracellular energy availability (i.e. macronutrient intake) and the ‘training impulse’ (i.e. summation of the volume, intensity and frequency). As such, exercise–nutrient interactions can modulate signal transduction cascades that converge on these protein regulatory systems, especially in the early post-exercise recovery period. This review focuses on the regulation of muscle protein synthetic response-adaptation processes to divergent exercise stimuli and how intracellular energy availability interacts with contractile activity to impact on muscle remodelling.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

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Nutrition Commons