Association analysis of the ACTN3 R577X polymorphism and complex quantitative body composition and performance phenotypes in adolescent Greeks
AuthorMoran, C. N.; Yang, N.; Bailey, M. E. S.; Tsiokanos, A.; Jamurtas, A.; MacArthur, D. G.; North, K.; Pitsiladis, Y. P.; Wilson, R. H.
The functional allele (577R) of ACTN3, which encodes human alpha-actinin-3, has been reported to be associated with elite athletic status and with response to resistance training, while the nonfunctional allele (577X) has been proposed as a candidate metabolically thrifty allele. In a study of 992 adolescent Greeks, we show that there is a significant association (P=0.003) between the ACTN3 R577X polymorphism and 40m sprint time in males that accounts for 2.3% of phenotypic variance, with the 577R allele contributing to faster times in an additive manner. The R577X polymorphism is not associated with other power phenotypes related to 40m sprint, nor with an endurance phenotype. Furthermore, the polymorphism is not associated with obesity-related phenotypes in our population, suggesting that the 577X allele is not a thrifty allele, and thus the persistence of this null allele must be explained in other terms.