Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) alleles in the Quechua, a high altitude South American native population

Authors: Rupert, J. L.; Devine, D. V.; Monsalve, M. V.; Hochachka, P. W.

Source: Annals of Human Biology, Volume 26, Number 4, 1 July 1999 , pp. 375-380(6)

Publisher: Informa Healthcare

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Recently it was reported that an allelic variant of the gene encoding angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) was significantly over-represented in a cohort of elite British mountaineers. It was proposed that this may be evidence for a specific genetic factor influencing the human capacity for physical performance. The implication that this allele could enhance performance at high altitude prompted us to determine its frequency in Quechua speaking natives living at altitudes greater than 3000m on the Andean Altiplano in South America. We found that the frequency of the putative performance allele in the Quechuas, although significantly higher than in Caucasians, was not different from lowland Native American populations. This observation suggests that, although the higher frequency of the 'performance allele' may have facilitated the migration of the ancestral Quechua to the highlands, the ACE insertion allele has not been subsequently selected for in this high altitude population.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 1999

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