Nuclear respiratory factor 2 (NRF2), also referred to as the GA-binding protein (GABP) transcription factor, is a key transcriptional activator of many nuclear genes which encode a wide range of mitochondrial enzymes. The variants of the GABPB1 gene encoding the beta1 subunit of NRF2 protein have been associated with physical performance, particularly endurance. The aim of this study was to confirm the possible importance of the A/G polymorphism (rs7181866) in intron 3 of the GABPB1 gene in Polish rowers. The study was carried out on 55 Polish rowers and sedentary individuals, to evaluate the possible relationships between genotype and physical performance. DNA was extracted from buccal cells donated by the subjects. Genotyping was carried out by PCR-RFLP. The results revealed that the frequency of the GABPB1 A/G genotype (89.09% AA; 10.91% AG, 0% GG; vs. 97.69% AA; 2.31% AG; 0.00% GG) %; P = 0.012) and G allele (5.50% vs. 1.17%; P = 0.014) was significantly higher in the rowers compared to controls. The results suggest that the GABPB1 gene can be taken into consideration as a genetic marker in endurance athletes. However, these conclusions should be supported with more experimental studies on other GABPB1 polymorphisms and other genes in elite endurance athletes.
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