The EPAS1 gene influences the aerobic–anaerobic contribution in elite endurance athletes
- 678 Downloads
EPAS1 is a gene involved in complex oxygen sensing. It is expressed in microvascular endothelial cells, lung epithelial cells, cardiac myocytes and the brain. An association study was undertaken comparing elite endurance athletes classified into two groups according to a power–time model of performance intensity: power–time-maximum (PT-MAX; N=242, event duration 50 s to 10 min) and power–time–steady state (PT-SS; N=151, event duration ~2–10 h), with normal controls (N=444) using 12 SNPs across EPAS1. Ordinal regression analysis of allele frequencies revealed significant differences at SNPs 2 and 3 (P=0.01). Haplotype analysis revealed the presence of haplotypes involving SNPs 2–5 that significantly differentiated (P<0.05) the groups based on an ordinal ranking using the power–time classification. These same haplotypes differentiated the PT-MAX group in which a significant decrease in a haplotype (F: G-C-C-G; OR=0.57, P=0.02, 95% CI 0.36–0.92) and increase in a second haplotype (G: A-T-G-G; OR=1.75, P=0.03, 95% CI 1.05–2.91) was observed compared to controls. The PT-SS group was differentiated from the PT-MAX group by a third haplotype (H: A-T-G-A; OR=0.46, P=0.04, 95% CI 0.22–0.96). Since EPAS1 has a role as a sensor capable of integrating cardiovascular function, energetic demand, muscle activity and oxygen availability into physiological adaptation, we propose that DNA variants in EPAS1 influence the relative contribution of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism and hence the maximum sustainable metabolic power for a given event duration.
KeywordsHypoxia Inducible Factor Allelic Combination Athlete Group Ordinal Regression Analysis Conservative Bonferroni Correction
Funding for this study was provided through a grant from the Australia Research Council. We thank the reviewers for their helpful feedback, and Prof K North for providing DNA from 33 track runners and 19 cyclists.
- Minet E, Ernest I, Michel G, Roland I, Remacle J, Raes M, Michiels C (1999) HIF1A gene transcription is dependent on a core promoter sequence encompassing activating and inhibiting sequences located upstream from the transcription initiation site and cis elements located within the 5′UTR. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 261:534–540PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Scortegagna M, Ding K, Oktay Y, Gaur A, Thurmond F, Yan LJ, Marck BT, Matsumoto AM, Shelton JM, Richardson JA, Bennett MJ, Garcia JA (2003a) Multiple organ pathology, metabolic abnormalities and impaired homeostasis of reactive oxygen species in Epas1-/- mice. Nat Genet 35:331–340PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wiesener MS, Jurgensen JS, Rosenberger C, Scholze CK, Horstrup JH, Warnecke C, Mandriota S, Bechmann I, Frei UA, Pugh CW, Ratcliffe PJ, Bachmann S, Maxwell PH, Eckardt KU (2003) Widespread hypoxia-inducible expression of HIF-2alpha in distinct cell populations of different organs. Faseb J 17:271–273PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Wiesener MS, Turley H, Allen WE, Willam C, Eckardt KU, Talks KL, Wood SM, Gatter KC, Harris AL, Pugh CW, Ratcliffe PJ, Maxwell PH (1998) Induction of endothelial PAS domain protein-1 by hypoxia: characterization and comparison with hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha. Blood 92:2260–2268PubMedGoogle Scholar