Navigation Links
Study finds variations in 1 gene may be associated with endurance running

BETHESDA, Md. (Feb. 16, 2010) 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, "Interaction between SNPs in the NRF2 gene and elite endurance performance," 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 American Physiological Society ( published the study.

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."


Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society

Related biology news :

1. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
7. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
8. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
9. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
10. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
11. Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease risk
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/23/2017)... first robotic gym for the rehabilitation and functional motor sense evaluation of ... Italy . The first 30 robots will be available from June ... . The technology was developed and patented at the IIT laboratories and ... thanks to a 10 million euro investment from entrepreneur Sergio Dompè. ... ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 Janice ... partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , ... or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with greater ... (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended by ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through ... Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion of ... sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics within ... advanced design and manufacturing event will take place June ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... They call it the “hairy ball.” ... depiction of a system of linkages and connections so complex and dense that ... computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and director of the university’s bioinformatics ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... BioMedGPS announces expanded coverage of SmartTRAK Business ... US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US Market for Hemostats and Sealants module ... and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. BioMedGPS estimates the market will grow ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression ... guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has ... (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs ... professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer ... care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: