What Is MoTrPAC? (2 minute video)
An audio-described version of this video is also available.
The MoTrPAC Consortium Summary
The Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) aims to uncover at the molecular level how exercise improves and preserves the health of the body’s tissues and organs. By tracking exercise’s impact on biological molecules and creating a molecular map, MoTrPAC will make exercise better understood by researchers and enable clinicians to make more specific recommendations when prescribing exercise to their patients.
To gather the considerable amount of data needed to develop a molecular map of exercise-related changes in the body, MoTrPAC consortium members are:
- recruiting a diverse array of adult and children volunteers to study at Clinical Sites
- performing rodent-exercise investigations at Preclinical Animal Study Sites
- identifying exercise-influenced biological molecules at Chemical Analysis sites
- coordinating efforts, storing samples, and compiling data in researcher-friendly formats at Consortium Coordinating sites
The MoTrPAC program issued its awards in December of 2016. During the first years of the program, the consortium organized the studies’ methods and other logistics to effectively achieve the overall goal of the program. This included the establishment of clinical standards, data standards, animal study protocols, a data portal for researchers, along with community outreach and recruitment materials and strategies. To date, the program has nearly performed the full suite of planned animal studies and collected tissues for analysis. MoTrPAC clinical sites are expected to begin recruiting people for the adult study in fall of 2019.
Five interrelated components comprise the program’s Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC).
MoTrPAC investigators will recruit approximately 2700 healthy adults for an exercise study. They will collect blood and tissue samples from active and sedentary volunteers who will perform resistance or aerobic exercises. These materials will be shared with colleagues at MoTrPAC Chemical Analysis Sites, who will extensively characterize a variety of molecules that change following exercise and may transmit the benefits of physical activity to organs and tissues that are not directly involved in movement. The adult Clinical Centers are led by
- Marcas Bamman at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Exercise Medicine, Bret Goodpaster at the Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes in Orlando, Florida, and Scott Trappe at the Ball State University Human Performance Laboratory (U01AR071133)
- John Jakicic at the University of Pittsburgh (U01AR071130)
- Wendy Kohrt at the University of Colorado, Denver (U01AR071124)
- William Kraus at Duke University, in partnership with Joseph Houmard at East Carolina University and Barbara Nicklas at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (U01AR071128)
- Blake Rasmussen at University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Nicolas Musi at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (U01AR071150)
- Eric Ravussin and Tuomo Rankinen at Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center (U01AR071160)
Another Clinical Center (U01AR071158), led by Dan Cooper and Shlomit Radom-Aizik at the University of California-Irvine, will focus on the molecular changes that occur when children and adolescents exercise. Scientists and clinicians increasingly recognize that physical activity is an essential component of health, growth, and development, and there are critical periods when exercise can lead to long-term improvements in health. When combined with data from the six Centers focusing on adults, the research conducted at University of California-Irvine will show whether the molecular transducers of health benefits differ in children and in adults and during different stages of development.
Research teams at three Preclinical Animal Study Sites will explore the functions, sources, and target tissues of molecules that appear to be linked to physical activity’s health benefits. The rat exercise models used for these studies will complement the Clinical Centers’ work by allowing investigators to analyze tissues and organs that cannot be studied in people. Scientists also will use animal and cell models to investigate the roles of potential transducers once the molecules are isolated and identified. The groups are led by
- Sue Bodine and Keith Barr at the University of California at Davis (U01AG055133)
- Karyn Esser at the University of Florida (U01AG055137)
- Laurie Goodyear at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston (U01AG055135)
Investigators at seven Chemical Analysis Sites will extensively analyze the human and rodent samples using various genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic, technologies. These cutting-edge tools, which allow for the rapid identification of many different biological molecules from large numbers of samples, will enable the characterization of a wide range of molecules that change following exercise and may mediate physical activity’s beneficial effects. The teams are led by
- Joshua Adkins at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (U24DK112349)
- Charles Burant and Jun Li at the University of Michigan (U24DK112342)
- Robert Gerszten, Clary Clish, and Stephen Carr at the Broad Institute/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Chris Newgard at Duke University (U24DK112340)
- Dean Paul Jones at Emory University (U24DK112341)
- Sreekumaran Nair and Ian Lanza at Mayo Clinic, Rochester (U24DK112326)
- Stuart Sealfon and Martin Walsh at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (U24DK112331)
- Michael Snyder and Stephen Montgomery at Stanford University (U24DK112348)
The Bioinformatics Center (U24EB023674), led by Euan Ashley at Stanford University, is responsible for establishing standards and protocols for data acquisition and storage, providing analytic tools for integrating and interrogating data generated through the Chemical Analysis Sites, and developing a user-friendly database that any researcher can access to develop hypotheses regarding the mechanisms whereby physical activity improves or preserves health.
The Consortium Coordinating Center (U24AR071113), led by Marco Pahor at the University of Florida, Michael Miller at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Walter Rejeski at Wake Forest University, and Russell Tracy at the University of Vermont, will manage study protocol development and implementation and will coordinate the collection and distribution of data and biological samples during the project. It will organize, monitor, and support the MoTrPAC Steering Committee and any subcommittees that the Steering Committee may establish to ensure that all aspects of the clinical and animal protocols and the analysis plans contribute to the mapping of molecular changes in response to exercise.
This page last reviewed on November 12, 2019