A protein can change easily worn muscle fibres into energy-producing muscle fibres - mocking the effect of exercise. Recently, researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered a protein in muscle called PGC-10. Now, with colleagues at the University of Texas, they reveal that the protein has the power to transform muscle fibres.
There are two types of muscle fibre. Type II is the easily-fatigued type, which is predominant among those who don't or can't exercise. Type I is the energy-producing type of fibre which is found more in those of exercise a lot. In the experiments, mice received PGC-10 and their type II fibres were converted to type I.
The research isn't meant for a quick-fix to replace a commitment to exercise. But it could help those confined to bed to counteract muscle wasting, or those who are suffering from severe muscle fatigue.