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Genomics. 1999 Dec 1;62(2):203-7.

Frequent sequence variation in the human myostatin (GDF8) gene as a marker for analysis of muscle-related phenotypes.

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Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


Myostatin is a recently identified member of the transforming growth factor-beta family of regulatory factors, also known as growth and differentiation factor 8 (GDF8). The nucleotide sequence of human myostatin was determined in 40 individuals. The invariant promoter contains a consensus MyoD binding site, and the coding sequence contains five missense substitutions in conserved amino acid residues (A55T, K153R, E164K, P198A, and I225T). Two of these, A55T in exon 1 and K153R in exon 2, are polymorphic in the general population with significantly different allele frequencies in Caucasians and African Americans (P < 0.001). Neither of the common polymorphisms had a significant impact on muscle mass response to strength training in either Caucasians or African Americans, although skewed allele frequencies preclude detection of small effects. These allelic variants provide markers for examining association between the myostatin gene and interindividual variation in muscle mass and differences in loss of muscle mass with aging.

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