Drug candidate leads to improved endurance

An international group of scientists has shown that a drug candidate designed by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) significantly increases exercise endurance in animal models.

These findings could lead to new approaches to helping people with conditions that acutely limit exercise tolerance, such as obesity, (COPD) and , as well as the decline of muscle capacity associated with aging.

The study was published July 14, 2013, by the journal Nature Medicine.

The drug candidate, SR9009, is one of a pair of compounds developed in the laboratory of TSRI Professor Thomas Burris and described in a March 2012 issue of the journal Nature as reducing obesity in animal models. The compounds affect the core , which synchronizes the rhythm of the body's activity with the 24-hour cycle of day and night.

The compounds work by binding to one of the body's natural molecules called Rev-erb?, which influences lipid and in the liver, the production of fat-storing cells and the response of macrophages (cells that remove dying or ) during inflammation.

In the new study, a team led by scientists at the Institut Pasteur de Lille in France demonstrated that mice lacking Rev-erb? had decreased skeletal muscle metabolic activity and running capacity. Burris' group showed that activation of Rev-erb? with SR9009 led to increased metabolic activity in skeletal muscle in both culture and in mice. The treated mice had a 50 percent increase in running capacity, measured by both time and distance.

"The animals actually get muscles like an athlete who has been training," said Burris. "The pattern of gene expression after treatment with SR9009 is that of an oxidative-type muscle— again, just like an athlete."

The authors of the new study suggest that Rev-erb? affects by promoting both the creation of new mitochondria (often referred to as the "power plants" of the cell) and the clearance of those mitochondria that are defective.

More information: "Rev-Erb? Modulates Skeletal Muscle Oxidative Capacity by Regulating Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Autophagy" DOI: 10.1038/nm.3213

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Growing a blood vessel in a week

15 hours ago

The technology for creating new tissues from stem cells has taken a giant leap forward. Three tablespoons of blood are all that is needed to grow a brand new blood vessel in just seven days. This is shown ...

Testing time for stem cells

18 hours ago

DefiniGEN is one of the first commercial opportunities to arise from Cambridge's expertise in stem cell research. Here, we look at some of the fundamental research that enables it to supply liver and pancreatic ...

Team finds key signaling pathway in cause of preeclampsia

Oct 23, 2014

A team of researchers led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology has published findings that provide novel insight into the cause of preeclampsia, the leading cause ...

Rapid test to diagnose severe sepsis

Oct 23, 2014

A new test, developed by University of British Columbia researchers, could help physicians predict within an hour if a patient will develop severe sepsis so they can begin treatment immediately.

User comments