Three mitochondrial DNA restriction polymorphisms in elite endurance athletes and sedentary controls

Miguel A. Rivera, Bernd Wolfarth, France T. Dionne, Monique Chagnon, Jean Aime Simoneau, Marcel R. Boulay, Thomas M.K. Song, Louis Perusse, Jacques Gagnon, Arthur S. Leon, D. C. Rao, James S. Skinner, Jack H. Wilmore, Joseph Keul, Claude Bouchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This study examined the associations between elite endurance athlete (EEA) status and three mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) in the subunit 5 of the NADH dehydrogenase (MTND5) locus and one in the D-loop region. A group of 125 Caucasian male EEA well endowed with the phenotypic expression of V̇O2(max) (78.9 ± 3.8 mL·kg- 1·min-1, mean ± SD) and 65 sedentary controls (SCON: VO(2max) = 39.8 ± 8.2 mL·kg-1·min-1) participated in the study. VO(2max) was determined during an incremental exercise test on a cycle ergometer or a motor-driven treadmill. mtDNA was extracted from white blood cells or lymphoblastoid cell lines and specific regions were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction. The Pearson Chi-square statistic test and Fisher exact test revealed no significant association (P > 0.05) between any of the three mtDNA RFLPs and EEA status. The MTND5-BamHI RFLP at bp 13,470 (morph 3) was found in 12.8% of the EEA and 12.3% of the SCON (χ2 = 0.009, P = 0.92). The prevalence of the MTND5-Ncil RFLP at bp 13,364 (morph 2) was 12.9% and 14% for the EEA and SCON, respectively (χ2 = 0.043, P = 0.83). The D-loop-KpnI RFLP at bp 16,133 (morph 1) was found in 5.8% of the EEA and in 1.6% of the SCON (Fisher exact test = 1.80, P = 0.18). The MTND5-HincII RFLP at bp 12,406 (morph 1) was not present in this study sample. These results indicate no evidence for a difference in the frequency of two polymorphic restriction sites in the subunit 5 of the NADH dehydrogenase gene of mtDNA and one in the D-loop region between elite endurance athletes and sedentary controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-690
Number of pages4
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998


  • D-loop
  • Genetic variation
  • Maximal oxygen uptake
  • NADH dehydrogenase
  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • RFLP
  • Restriction enzymes


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