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Genetic score of power-speed and endurance track and field athletes

Authors

  • S. Ben-Zaken,

    Corresponding author
    1. Genetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sports Sciences at the Wingate Institute, Netanya, Israel
    • Corresponding author: Sigal Ben-Zaken, The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sports Sciences at the Wingate Institute, Netanya 42902, Israel. Tel: +972 9 8639257, Fax: +972 9 8639351, E-mail: sigalbz@wincol.ac.il

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  • Y. Meckel,

    1. Genetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sports Sciences at the Wingate Institute, Netanya, Israel
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  • D. Nemet,

    1. Pediatric Department, Meir Medical Center, Child Health and Sports Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
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  • A. Eliakim

    1. Pediatric Department, Meir Medical Center, Child Health and Sports Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
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Abstract

Athletic excelling capability in a specific sport results from the combined influence of hundreds of genetic polymorphisms. The aim of the current study was to characterize athletes' polygenetic scores. We developed two polygenetic scores: (a) Power Genetic Distance Score based on two polymorphisms (PGDS2; ACEI/D, ACTN3C/T) or five polymorphisms (PGDS5; ACTN3C/T, ACEI/D, IL6-174G/C, NOS3T/C, AGTMET235THR); and (b) Endurance Genetic Distance Score based on two polymorphisms (EGDS2; ACEI/D, ACTN3C/T) or five polymorphisms (EGDS5; PPARGC1AGly482Ser, PPARAintron7G/C, PPARDT294C, NRF2A/C, HIFC/T). Eighty-two power-speed athletes, 87 endurance athletes, and 119 nonathletic controls participated in the study. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood. Power-speed athletes' mean PGDS2 (46.1) and PGDS5 (29.4) were significantly higher compared with their mean EGDS2 (36.4) and EGDS5 (23.1; P < 0.05, P < 0.01, respectively); and compared with controls' mean PGDS2 (36.6) and PGDS5 (24.2; P < 0.05, P < 0.05, respectively). Endurance athletes' mean EGDS2 (60.3) and EGDS5 (35.3) were significantly higher compared with their mean PGDS2 (26.9) and PGDS5 (21.8; P < 0.001, P < 0.001, respectively); and compared with controls' mean EGDS2 (51.2) and EGDS5 (26.1; P < 0.05, P < 0.001, respectively). We conclude that polygenetic scores can differentiate power-speed from endurance athletes. Whether these scores may be used to identify elite power-speed or endurance athletes' needs to be addressed in future studies.

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