Adrenergic-beta(2) receptor polymorphism and athletic performance

J Hum Genet. 2010 Aug;55(8):479-85. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2010.42. Epub 2010 Apr 30.


The focus of this review is to evaluate the influence of beta(2)-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) polymorphism on human physiological function and in turn on athletic performance. A narrative review is conducted on available literature using MedLine, Pubmed and the Cochrane Library to document the location and function of ADRB2 receptors, and specifically to address the influence of genetic polymorphisms on cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic and musculoskeletal systems and athletic performance. Search terms included ADRB2, endurance and polymorphism. Previous literature exploring the genetic composition of athletes has proposed that alterations in the genetic structure result in an enhancement in their capacity to achieve successful aerobic phenotypes such as a higher VO(2max) and increased fat oxidation. Polymorphism of the Gly16Glu27 haplotype is believed to promote positive aerobic phenotypes and regulate optimal lipolysis. Greater knowledge of the ADRB2 polymorphism can aid in understanding the specific phenotypes that are altered, which may influence performance. Until the interaction between fatigue and athletic performance is better understood, the development of appropriate training principles to enhance genetically polymorphic aerobic phenotypes remains complicated. Following the review, there is still no distinctive evidence for the predictive ability of the polymorphism of ADRB2 genotype for the purpose of identifying potential elite athletes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Performance*
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-2 / genetics*


  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-2