You might’ve come across people who can run like a cheetah and some who have the speed of a sloth. A bit extreme, but there are some individuals who are exceptionally good at running, and their genes might be the culprit that gives them their power. Many hereditary and non-genetic variables influence a person’s speed and strength. The gene ACTN3, often known as the sprinter gene, may explain some of the diversity in sprinting ability.
Although slow-twitch muscle fibers aid in stamina, fast-twitch muscle fibers allow for bursts of speed. Sprinters, for example, employ fast-twitch muscles. In certain people, the ACTN3 gene produces a protein that allows fast-twitch fibers to function well. This gene is also famous as the sprinter gene or the “speed gene.”
We have two copies of the ACTN3 gene 577R is the name of the functioning copy (the one that produces the protein). The577X is a non-functioning one (which does not produce protein). People can have two functioning, two non-functioning, or one of each. The difference between the functional and non-working versions of the gene is produced by a single variation in the DNA sequence.
Considering the three possible combinations of the ACTN3 gene; around 30% have two copies of the “sprint” form; approximately 18% have two copies of the “endurance” version, and slightly more than half have one copy of each. Professional athletes, on the other hand, make up less than 1% of the population.
Obviously, no ACTN3 combination is unique to super-athletes; rather, whatever combination your child has, he or she will share with a big part of the population, the great majority of whom will rarely go on to be international-level athletes.