The previously unidentified protein in muscles which spurs growth and increased strength following resistance exercise has finally been discovered by scientists.
The protein is called PGC-1 alpha 4. The study in which the protein was isolated and tested found that resistance exercise caused a rise in PGC-1 alpha 4 which triggered biochemical changes that increased muscle size and strength.
The protein is an isoform (slight variant) of PGC-1 alpha which is an important regulatory protein of metabolism, activated by forms of exercise which increase muscular endurance (ie running).
There are suggestions that artificially raising PGC-1 alpha 4 levels may someday be used to prevent muscle wastage in patients suffering from chronic diseases or acute injuries, although I am sure that some may wish to use it as the lazy way to gain lean muscle mass!
- Study led by Bruce Spiegelman and supported by the NIH grant. Findings published in ScienceDaily on 06/12/2012.