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Genetic Polymorphisms Related to VO2max Adaptation Are Associated With Elite Rugby Union Status and Competitive Marathon Performance
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, Volume: 16, Issue: 12, Pages: 1 - 7
Swansea University Authors: Shane Heffernan , Liam Kilduff
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DOI (Published version): 10.1123/ijspp.2020-0856
Purpose: Genetic polymorphisms have been associated with the adaptation to training in maximal oxygen uptake (˙VO2max). However, the genotype distribution of selected polymorphisms in athletic cohorts is unknown, with their influence on performance characteristics also undetermined. This study inves...
|Published in:||International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance|
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Purpose: Genetic polymorphisms have been associated with the adaptation to training in maximal oxygen uptake (˙VO2max). However, the genotype distribution of selected polymorphisms in athletic cohorts is unknown, with their influence on performance characteristics also undetermined. This study investigated whether the genotype distributions of 3 polymorphisms previously associated with ˙VO2max training adaptation are associated with elite athlete status and performance characteristics in runners and rugby athletes, competitors for whom aerobic metabolism is important. Methods: Genomic DNA was collected from 732 men including 165 long-distance runners, 212 elite rugby union athletes, and 355 nonathletes. Genotype and allele frequencies of PRDM1 rs10499043 C/T, GRIN3A rs1535628 G/A, and KCNH8 rs4973706 T/C were compared between athletes and nonathletes. Personal-best marathon times in runners, as well as in-game performance variables and playing position, of rugby athletes were analyzed according to genotype. Results: Runners with PRDM1 T alleles recorded marathon times ∼3 minutes faster than CC homozygotes (02:27:55 [00:07:32] h vs 02:31:03 [00:08:24] h, P = .023). Rugby athletes had 1.57 times greater odds of possessing the KCNH8 TT genotype than nonathletes (65.5% vs 54.7%, χ2 = 6.494, P = .013). No other associations were identified. Conclusions: This study is the first to demonstrate that polymorphisms previously associated with ˙VO2max training adaptations in nonathletes are also associated with marathon performance (PRDM1) and elite rugby union status (KCNH8). The genotypes and alleles previously associated with superior endurance-training adaptation appear to be advantageous in long-distance running and achieving elite status in rugby union.
genomics, exercise, heritability, endurance
Faculty of Science and Engineering