Advances in exercise, fitness, and performance genomics in 2012

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 May;45(5):824-31. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31828b28a3.


A small number of excellent articles on exercise genomics issues were published in 2012. A new PYGM knock-in mouse model will provide opportunities to investigate the exercise intolerance and very low activity level of people with McArdle disease. New reports on variants in ACTN3 and ACE have increased the level of uncertainty regarding their true role in skeletal muscle metabolism and strength traits. The evidence continues to accumulate on the positive effects of regular physical activity on body mass index or adiposity in individuals at risk of obesity as assessed by their FTO genotype or by the number of risk alleles they carry at multiple obesity-susceptibility loci. The serum levels of triglycerides and the risk of hypertriglyceridemia were shown to be influenced by the interactions between a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the NOS3 gene and physical activity level. Allelic variation at nine SNPs was shown to account for the heritable component of the changes in submaximal exercise heart rate induced by the HERITAGE Family Study exercise program. SNPs at the RBPMS, YWHAQ, and CREB1 loci were found to be particularly strong predictors of the changes in submaximal exercise heart rate. The 2012 review ends with comments on the importance of relying more on experimental data, the urgency of identifying panels of genomic predictors of the response to regular exercise and particularly of adverse responses, and the exciting opportunities offered by recent advances in our understanding of the global architecture of the human genome as reported by the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / genetics
  • Animals
  • Athletic Performance / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genomics
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • Precision Medicine