Nutritional Biochemistry

Regulation in signaling molecules contributes to energy metabolism by exercise and nutrition

Mechanism for preventing metabolic syndrome at the molecular level to help develop personalized exercise/dietary therapy

While the positive effects of exercise/dietary therapy are well understood, a regimen of consistent physical activity and healthy eating often proves difficult to maintain over the long term. In particular, as one gets older, individual differences in exercise compliance tend to become greater because of reduced muscle mass and increased joint abrasion. Adding to the difficulty of maintaining a long-term exercise program is that it is difficult to change one’s habits, particularly in mid- to late-life.
Interestingly, it is now possible to use gene analysis to predict the development of many lifestyle-related diseases. With regard to exercise/dietary therapy, however, the preventive mechanism has not yet been fully explored, and thus it is still unknown what type of exercise/dietary therapy might be most appropriate for individuals of different backgrounds and life stages.
Our laboratory aims to explore the mechanism for preventing metabolic syndrome at the molecular level, so as to develop a personalized exercise/dietary therapy that takes into account a person’s genetic background.

1. Nutrition- and exercise-based mechanism for preventing obesity and diabetes
Exercise training promotes glucose and lipid metabolism in muscle and improves insulin resistance. This study aims to explore the mechanism of GLUT4 transcriptional activation and increased mitochondria, with the aim of exploring an exercise-based mechanism of preventing obesity/diabetes.
2. Effects of exercise on energy metabolism in skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue
During exercise, the enzyme reaction for burning fat increases. The activation of the body’s fuel sensor, which detects the energy state in the body’s tissues, may play a key role in exercise-induced fat burning. This study aims to explore the signaling molecules that contribute to burning fat during exercise.
3. Nutrition- and exercise-mediated changes in performance endurance and skeletal muscle function
Increased muscle mass and a variety of physiological changes in the body’s muscle function are observed after exercise training. This study aims to explore the molecular mechanisms of nutrition- or training-induced physiological changes in skeletal muscle.


Shinji MiuraPhD


Akihito MoritaPhD

Details are here



Exercise-based mechanism for preventing obesity. Anti-obesity effects of the exercise are divided into acute effects and chronic effects based on continuous training. Some of the resulting chronic effects are explained by PGC-1alpha-mediated changes in skeletal muscles.


PGC-1alpha promotes a fiber-type switch to oxidative fibers, mitochondrial biogenesis, and angiogenesis in skeletal muscle. PGC-1alpha-mediated increase in fatty acid utilization in skeletal muscle improves maximal oxygen uptake and exercise capacity.

Published Papers

  1. PLoS ONE, 6, e28290 (2011)
  2. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab., 300, E341–E349 (2011)
  3. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab., 296, E47–E55 (2009)
  4. Endocrinology, 149, 4527–4533 (2008)
  5. Endocrinology, 148, 3441–3448 (2007)
  6. Am. J. Pathol., 169, 1129–1139 (2006)
  7. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 325, 812–818 (2004)
  8. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 312, 277–284 (2003)
  9. J. Biol. Chem., 278, 31385–31390 (2003)
  10. J. Biol. Chem., 277, 32253–32257 (2002)