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Wayne State receives grant to examine exercise's effects on proteins in muscles
Date:9/26/2013

DETROIT Exercise is known to greatly improve the ability of tissues to respond to insulin and reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, but the mechanisms that cause those health benefits are not yet clear.

A Wayne State University researcher is seeking answers by studying the effects of exercise on a process that plays a critical role in insulin signaling within skeletal muscle.

Zhengping Yi, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy/Health Sciences and director of the Proteomics Research Laboratory, recently received a three-year grant from the American Diabetes Association for a project titled "Effect of Exercise on Human Skeletal Muscle Tyrosine Phosphoproteome." The award is $180,000 for the first year and up to $200,000 per year for the next two years.

Muscles require energy to help people move, and sugar taken up from circulating blood is a very important source of that energy. After a meal, blood sugar increases, and the pancreas secretes insulin, which triggers cells mainly those of skeletal muscle to absorb the sugar. In obese adults, muscle cells commonly do not respond well to insulin, resulting in a condition called skeletal muscle insulin resistance, a main cause of type 2 diabetes.

Yi's project focuses on the possibility that exercise induces specific yet undiscovered cellular events within skeletal muscle that can allow insulin to work more effectively to help take up blood sugar. Specifically, he is exploring how exercise affects the process of adding and/or removing a phosphate-group (i.e., phosphorus and four oxygen molecules) to or from different proteins at specific locations on those proteins.

Such "phosphorylation" or "de-phosphorylation" events provide important signals for many important cellular processes, including muscle cell uptake of sugar in response to insulin. For example, several reduced protein tyrosine phosphorylatio
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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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