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