Mechanisms of adaptation following muscle contraction: focus on RNA processing
Description: Aging results in the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function. The loss of function results from a combination of motor neuron degradation and changes in metabolism (mitochondrial function, proteostasis, etc.). Underlying these changes are major alternations in gene expression and gene expression regulation in both skeletal muscle and neurons. In our laboratory we have initiated projects to understand how skeletal muscle gene expression regulation is impacted by exercise (both acute and training) and by aging specifically at the level RNA processing and alternative RNA splicing. To this end, we have found that many transcripts are dysregulated by the processes of aging and many of these are related to the mitochondria and alternative RNA splicing. We are now exploring how different interventions aimed at slowing aging (exercise, diet, and drugs/compounds/supplements) can reverse some of the observed changes in gene expression and gene expression regulation.