Differential Effect of Endurance Training on Mitochondrial Protein Damage, Degradation, and Acetylation in the Context of Aging

Matthew L. Johnson, Brian A. Irving, Ian R. Lanza, Mikkel H. Vendelbo, Adam R. Konopka, Matthew M. Robinson, Gregory C. Henderson, Katherine A. Klaus, Dawn M. Morse, Carrie Heppelmann, H. Robert Bergen, Surendra Dasari, Jill M. Schimke, Daniel R. Jakaitis, K. Sreekumaran Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acute aerobic exercise increases reactive oxygen species and could potentially damage proteins, but exercise training (ET) enhances mitochondrial respiration irrespective of age. Here, we report a differential impact of ET on protein quality in young and older participants. Using mass spectrometry we measured oxidative damage to skeletal muscle proteins before and after 8 weeks of ET and find that young but not older participants reduced oxidative damage to both total skeletal muscle and mitochondrial proteins. Young participants showed higher total and mitochondrial derived semitryptic peptides and 26S proteasome activity indicating increased protein degradation. ET however, increased the activity of the endogenous antioxidants in older participants. ET also increased skeletal muscle content of the mitochondrial deacetylase SIRT3 in both groups. A reduction in the acetylation of isocitrate dehydrogenase 2 was observed following ET that may counteract the effect of acute oxidative stress. In conclusion aging is associated with an inability to improve skeletal muscle and mitochondrial protein quality in response to ET by increasing degradation of damaged proteins. ET does however increase muscle and mitochondrial antioxidant capacity in older individuals, which provides increased buffering from the acute oxidative effects of exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1386-1393
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Aging
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative damage
  • Proteasome
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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