Original investigation

Human Genetics

, Volume 103, Issue 1, pp 48-50

Elite endurance athletes and the ACE I allele – the role of genes in athletic performance

  • George GayagayAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular & Clinical Genetics, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia e-mail: rtrent@med.usyd.edu.au, Fax: +61-2-95157595
  • , Bing YuAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular & Clinical Genetics, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia e-mail: rtrent@med.usyd.edu.au, Fax: +61-2-95157595
  • , Brett HamblyAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia
  • , Tanya BostonAffiliated withAustralian Institute of Sport, Canberra ACT 2617, Australia
  • , Alan HahnAffiliated withAustralian Institute of Sport, Canberra ACT 2617, Australia
  • , David S. CelermajerAffiliated withDepartment of Cardiology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia
  • , R. J. TrentAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular & Clinical Genetics, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia e-mail: rtrent@med.usyd.edu.au, Fax: +61-2-95157595

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Genetic markers that might contribute to the making of an elite athlete have not been identified. Potential candidate genes might be found in the renin-angiotensin pathway, which plays a key role in the regulation of both cardiac and vascular physiology. In this study, DNA polymorphisms derived from the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), the angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1) and the angiotensin type 2 receptor (AT2) were studied in 64 Australian national rowers. Compared with a normal population, the rowers had an excess of the ACE I allele (P<0.02) and the ACE II genotype (P=0.03). The ACE I allele is a genetic marker that might be associated with athletic excellence. It is proposed that the underlying mechanism relates to a healthier cardiovascular system.