For Firdaus Massar’s PhD studies in joint collaboration with Prof. Barry Drust (University of Birmingham) and international collaborators Prof Juleen Zierath and Dr. Nicolas Pillon (Karolinska Institute). We have undertake an integrative methylome and transcriptome approach to investigating the high intensity sprint exercise in human skeletal muscle. See PDF. Overall, in this study we demonstrate that increased physiological load via change of direction sprint exercise in human skeletal muscle evokes considerable epigenetic modifications that are associated with changes in expression of genes responsible for adaptation to exercise (compared to straight line running exercise). In particular change of direction exercise evoked considerable hypomethylation in: Protein binding, MAPK, AMPK, insulin, and axon guidance pathways. Also enriched promoter hypomethylation in VEGF and NR4A1 canonical metabolic genes. These data imply that introducing changes in direction into high intensity running protocols could serve as an important modulator of a favourable epigenomic and transcriptomic landscape in response to exercise in athletes and trigger greater skeletal muscle remodelling through enhanced gene expression.
Figure (taken from PDF) demonstrating alterations in VEGF, NR4A1, NR4A3 and PGC1-alpha in human skeletal muscle at the DNA methylation and gene expression level after high intensity change of direction (COD) running exercise compared with straight line running exercise.