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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Sep;293(3):R1335-41. Epub 2007 Jun 20.

Exercise training increases branched-chain oxoacid dehydrogenase kinase content in human skeletal muscle.

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Exercise Metabolism Research Group, Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


The branched-chain oxoacid dehydrogenase complex (BCOAD) is rate determining for the oxidation of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in skeletal muscle. Exercise training blunts the acute exercise-induced activation of BCOAD (BCOADa) in human skeletal muscle (McKenzie S, Phillips SM, Carter SL, Lowther S, Gibala MJ, Tarnopolsky MA. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 278: E580-E587, 2000); however, the mechanism is unknown. We hypothesized that training would increase the muscle protein content of BCOAD kinase, the enzyme responsible for inactivation of BCOAD by phosphorylation. Twenty subjects [23 +/- 1 yr; peak oxygen uptake (.VO(2peak)) = 41 +/- 2] performed 6 wk of either high-intensity interval or continuous moderate-intensity training on a cycle ergometer (n = 10/group). Before and after training, subjects performed 60 min of cycling at 65% of pretraining .VO(2peak), and needle biopsy samples (vastus lateralis) were obtained before and immediately after exercise. The effect of training was demonstrated by an increased .VO(2peak), increased citrate synthase maximal activity, and reduced muscle glycogenolysis during exercise, with no difference between groups (main effects, P < 0.05). BCOADa was lower after training (main effect, P < 0.05), and this was associated with a approximately 30% increase in BCOAD kinase protein content (main effect, P < 0.05). We conclude that the increased protein content of BCOAD kinase may be involved in the mechanism for reduced BCOADa after exercise training in human skeletal muscle. These data also highlight differences in models used to study the regulation of skeletal muscle BCAA metabolism, since exercise training was previously reported to increase BCOADa during exercise and decrease BCOAD kinase content in rats (Fujii H, Shimomura Y, Murakami T, Nakai N, Sato T, Suzuki M, Harris RA. Biochem Mol Biol Int 44: 1211-1216, 1998).

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