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Exp Physiol. 2009 Mar;94(3):344-9. doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2008.045138. Epub 2009 Jan 12.

The guanine nucleotide binding protein beta polypeptide 3 gene C825T polymorphism is associated with elite endurance athletes.

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Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Life Sciences Division, The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the Wingate Institute, Netanya 42902, Israel.


A functional C825T polymorphism in the human guanine nucleotide binding protein beta polypeptide 3 (GNB3) gene has been associated with enhanced G protein activation. Since reports regarding the interaction between physical activity and the GNB3 C825T polymorphism are limited and inconsistent, the aim of this study was to determine the frequency of C825T alleles among 155 elite Israeli athletes (endurance athletes and sprinters) and 234 healthy control subjects. Genotyping for GNB3 C825T was performed using polymerase chain reaction on DNA from leucocytes. Results showed that there was a significant difference in GNB3 C825T polymorphism genotype frequencies between endurance athletes and sprinters (P = 0.045) as well as between endurance athletes and control subjects (P = 0.046). We also observed a significantly higher proportion of the GNB3 TT genotype in the group of endurance athletes (19%) compared with the sprinters (5%, P = 0.014) and the control subjects (8.5%, P = 0.026). In the group of athletes, the odds ratio of GNB3 TT genotype being an endurance athlete was 4.49 (95% confidence interval 1.4-14.3) and of GNB3 CC genotype was 0.91 (95% confidence interval 0.47-1.77). These results were even more pronounced when we compared between the subgroups of 20 top-level endurance athletes and 24 top-level sprinters. We conclude that in Israeli athletes the GNB3 TT genotype is higher in elite endurance athletes than it is in sprinters, and within the endurance group it is higher in top-level athletes, suggesting a positive association between the TT genotype and the likelihood of being an elite endurance athlete.

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