Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Minor variations in one gene may be associated with endurance running

Date:
February 21, 2010
Source:
American Physiological Society
Summary:
A few minor variations in one gene may make a difference in athletic endurance, according to a new study.

Elite endurance athletes were more likely to have variations of the NRF2 gene than elite sprinters.
Credit: iStockphoto

A few minor variations in one gene may make a difference in athletic endurance, according to a new study from Physiological Genomics.

The study found that elite endurance athletes were more likely to have variations of the NRF2 gene than elite sprinters. Non-elite endurance athletes were also more likely to have the genetic variations compared to sprinters, although the difference was not as pronounced.

The study shows an association between the gene variation and endurance, but does not establish a cause-effect relationship. Future studies are needed to unravel exactly what role the gene plays in athletic performance. The study is part of a larger body of research that is exploring the human genome and which aims to understand the genetic underpinnings of athletic performance.

Although the human genome is relatively uniform, there are variations among individuals. The researchers investigated the NRF2 gene because previous studies have shown that it may play a role in endurance performance because it:

  • helps produce new mitochondria, a key cellular structure that produces energy

  • reduces the harmful effects of oxidation and inflammation, which increase during exercise

"These findings suggest that harboring this specific genotype might increase the probability of being an endurance athlete," said one of the authors, Nir Eynon of Wingate Institute in Israel. The study was carried out by Dr. Eynon, Alberto Jorge Alves, Moran Sagiv, Chen Yamin, Prof. Michael Sagiv and Dr. Yoav Meckel. All are at the Wingate Institute except for Alberto Alves, who is with the University of Porto in Portugal.

The Study

The study examined 155 track and field athletes who had competed in national or international track and field competitions. The athletes were further subdivided into endurance group (10,000 meter and marathon runners) and a sprint group (100- and 200-meter and long jump). The control group consisted of 240 non-athletic healthy individuals.

These groups were further divided into elite-level (those who had represented Israel in the world track and field championships or in the Olympics) and national-level (those who had competed in national competitions, but not international).

The study found that two variations in the NRF2 gene (specifically, the NRF2 A allele and the NRF2 C/T genotype) occurred more often in endurance athletes than in sprinters. "Eighty percent of the elite-level endurance athletes were carrying the A allele of the NRF2 A/C single nucleotide protein, compared to only 46% of the elite-level sprinters," Nir. Eynon said. The study also found that the combined NRF2 AA+ NRF2 C/T genotype was more frequent in endurance athletes than in the sprinters group and the control group.

"So," concludes Eynon, "some of us are truly born to run."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physiological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nir Eynon, Alberto Jorge Alves, Moran Sagiv, Chen Yamin, Michael Sagiv and Yoav Meckel. Interaction between SNPs in the NRF2 gene and elite endurance performance. Physiological Genomics, December 22, 2009 DOI: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00199.2009

Cite This Page:

American Physiological Society. "Minor variations in one gene may be associated with endurance running." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218173319.htm>.
American Physiological Society. (2010, February 21). Minor variations in one gene may be associated with endurance running. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218173319.htm
American Physiological Society. "Minor variations in one gene may be associated with endurance running." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218173319.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins