Genetic variants associated with exercise performance in both moderately trained and highly trained individuals

N R Harvey, S Voisin, P J Dunn, H Sutherland, X Yan, M Jacques, I D Papadimitriou, L J Haseler, K J Ashton, L M Haupt, N Eynon, L R Griffiths*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Adaptation to exercise training is a complex trait that may be influenced by genetic variants. We identified 36 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that had been previously associated with endurance or strength performance, exercise-related phenotypes or exercise intolerant disorders. A MassARRAY multiplex genotyping assay was designed to identify associations with these SNPs against collected endurance fitness phenotype parameters obtained from two exercise cohorts (Gene SMART study; n = 58 and Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon 2008; n = 115). These parameters included peak power output (PP), a time trial (TT), lactate threshold (LT), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) in recreationally active individuals and a triathlon time-to-completion (Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon cohort only). A nominal significance threshold of α < 0.05 was used to identify 17 variants (11 in the Gene SMART population and six in the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon cohort) which were significantly associated with performance gains in highly trained individuals. The variant rs1474347 located in Interleukin 6 (IL6) was the only variant with a false discovery rate < 0.05 and was found to be associated with gains in VO2 max (additional 4.016 mL/(kg min) for each G allele inherited) after training in the Gene SMART cohort. In summary, this study found further evidence to suggest that genetic variance can influence training response in a moderately trained cohort and provides an example of the potential application of genomic research in the assessment of exercise trait response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-523
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomics
Issue number2
Early online date2 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


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