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Changes to the Human Serum Proteome in Response to High Intensity Interval Exercise: A Sequential Top-Down Proteomic Analysis
Pergande, Melissa R.
Cologna, Stephanie M.
Coorssen, Jens R.
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Exercise has been shown to improve health status and prevent chronic diseases. In contrast, overtraining can lead to maladaptation and detrimental health outcomes. These outcomes appear to be mediated in part by released peptides and, potentially, alterations in protein abundances and their modified forms, termed proteoforms. Proteoform biomarkers that either predict the beneficial effects of exercise or indicate (mal)adaptation are yet to be elucidated. Thus, we assessed the influence of highintensity interval exercise (HIIE) on the human serum proteome to identify novel exerciseregulated proteoforms. To this end, a top-down proteomics approach was used, whereby two-dimensional gel electrophoresis was used to resolve and differentially profile intact proteoforms, followed by protein identification via liquid chromatographytandem mass spectrometry. Blood was collected from six young-adult healthy males, pre-exercise and 5 min and 1 h post-exercise. Exercise consisted of a maximal cycle ergometer test followed by 8 min × 1 min high-intensity intervals at 90% Wmax, with 1 min non-active recovery between intervals. Twenty resolved serum proteoforms changed significantly in abundance at 5 min and/or 1 h post-HIIE, including apolipoproteins, serpins (protease inhibitors), and immune system proteins, known to have broad anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, involvement in lipid clearance, and cardio-/neuro-protective effects. This initial screening for potential biomarkers indicates that a top-down analytical proteomic approach may prove useful in further characterizing the response to exercise and in understanding the molecular mechanisms that lead to health benefits, as well as identifying novel biomarkers for exercise (mal)adaptation.