Current Opinion in Pharmacology vol:12 issue:3 pages:355-362
Inter-individual variation in muscle mass and muscular fitness is broad; being at the upper tail of the distribution not only contributes to improve elite sport performance, but is also associated with longer independent living and higher quality-of-life in the aging population. Heritability estimates of muscle phenotypes are substantial and warrant the search for genetic components underlying this individual variability. The 'kinesiogenomics' field is young, but genetic associations with muscle strength-related phenotypes have been reported already for more than 40 candidate genes, and genome-wide scans revealed several additional regions of interest in the genome. Although genetic findings may reveal attractive targets for novel muscle atrophy therapy, the benefit of exercise as a major stimulus for natural muscle mass enhancement or maintenance cannot be underestimated.