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By Dr Tushar Chauhan October 15, 2022

Sprinter gene- A gene decides how fast you can run.

A variant of a “so-called” sprinter gene can boost running performance. Let’s findout which gene it is.

Image credit: Filip Mroz on Unsplash.

ACTN3 is the full name of Actinin alpha 3 or alpha-actinin 3, also known as the sprinter gene.

Image credit: Filip Mroz on Unsplash

The gene size is 16kb and is located on chromosome 11 at 11q13.2.

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ACTN3 encodes a protein alpha-actinin 3 which is expressed in type II fiber muscles. It produces powerful muscle contraction.

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High expression of the active copies of the ACTN3 gene results in better athletic performance, a study on the world’s faster runners suggests.

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A common ACTN3 candidate mutation R577X also affects athletic performance, research showed.

Image credit: sporlab on UnsplashImage credit: pnas.

Interestingly, studies showed that homozygous RR and XX conditions boost speed and power, respectively.

Image credit: sporlab on Unsplash

Evidently, no clear genetic basis for athletic performance and/or fast running is yet established.

Image credit: Chris on Unsplash

Also, no drug/medicine/enhancer can elevate such a gene's expression and effect.

Image credit: Photo by Sid Suratia on Unsplash

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