Autophagy is essential to support skeletal muscle plasticity in response to endurance exercise
Anthony M. J. Sanchez American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology Published 15 October 2014 Vol. 307 no. 8, R956-R969
Physical exercise is a stress that can substantially modulate cellular signaling mechanisms to promote morphological and metabolic adaptations. Skeletal muscle protein and organelle turnover is dependent on two major cellular pathways: Forkhead box class O proteins (FOXO) transcription factors that regulate two main proteolytic systems, the ubiquitin-proteasome, and the autophagy-lysosome systems, including mitochondrial autophagy, and the MTORC1 signaling associated with protein translation and autophagy inhibition.
In recent years, it has been well documented that both acute and chronic endurance exercise can affect the autophagy pathway. Importantly, substantial efforts have been made to better understand discrepancies in the literature on its modulation during exercise. A single bout of endurance exercise increases autophagic flux when the duration is long enough, and this response is dependent on nutritional status, since autophagic flux markers and mRNA coding for actors involved in mitophagy are more abundant in the fasted state.
In contrast, strength and resistance exercises preferentially raise ubiquitin-proteasome system activity and involve several protein synthesis factors, such as the recently characterized DAGK for mechanistic target of rapamycin activation.
In this review, we discuss recent progress on the impact of acute and chronic exercise on cell component turnover systems, with particular focus on autophagy, which until now has been relatively overlooked in skeletal muscle. We especially highlight the most recent studies on the factors that can impact its modulation, including the mode of exercise and the nutritional status, and also discuss the current limitations in the literature to encourage further works on this topic.
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