Background: Nuclear respiratory factor 1 (NRF-1) is a critical component of the energy-sensing mechanism in mammalian cells, i.e., by translating physiological signals (particularly, those induced by exercise) into increased capacity for mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative phosphorylation.
Objective: Our purpose was to study the possible association between rs2402970, rs6949152 and rs10500120 NRF-1 genotypes and several phenotypes indicatives of maximal (VO2max) and submaximal aerobic capacity [ventilatory threshold (VT) and metabolic cost of submaximal running at 12 km•h-1 (running economy, RE)] both at baseline and in response to a 18-week endurance training program in Chinese young males of Han origin (N = 102; 19? years).
Results: For rs2402970, a significant genotype effect was observed in VT (P=0.004) and RE (P=0.027). For rs6949152, a significant interaction (genotype x training) effect (P=0.047) existed in VT.
Conclusions: There exists an association between NRF-1 genotypes (rs2402970 and rs6949152 polymorphisms) and the baseline and/or training response of human aerobic capacity. More research is needed to corroborate our data in other ethnic groups with lower fitness levels at the pre-training state (particularly Caucasians) and to identify the molecular mechanisms involved in the genotype-phenotype associations we found.
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