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 (www.the-APS.org) published 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.”
Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function to create health or disease. The American Physiological Society (APS) has been an integral part of this scientific discovery process since it was established in 1887.
Donna Krupa | EurekAlert!
A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine