Apart from exercise of the contractile functions, muscle play a huge role in producing heat via thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is a process in which heat produced that does not include the contraction of muscles. This is important to know because there is a protein present in muscles that can increase the rate of heat production. Researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical DiscoveryInstitute have found that the protein called sarcolipin (SLP)—found in muscles—is a key way for fat-burning processes. The process in which it proceeds is SLP will bind to calcium ion transported that is called SERCA which forces the muscle to spend more energy so that the calcium will be moved. Sarcolipin binding with SERCA promotes uncoupling of SERCA CA2+ transport from ATP hydrolysis. This increases heat production.
To proceed with this hypothesis, researchers proceeded an experiment on mice that contained high levels of sarcolipin versus those that did not produce any sarcolipin. By feeding both animals high-fat diet, it showed that those with SLP did not develop fat in their muscles, nor type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, the animals that did not have any sarcolipin in their system struggled to burn the fat.
This study deserves to be further researched since it is closer on identifying specific obesity-promoting proteins. By this research we could help those that have difficulty with their metabolism and their metabolic pathways. It could also aid those who have trouble exercising or have trouble with their weight.