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Medicina dello Sport 2011 March;64(1):45-54


language: English, Italian

Angiotensin-converting enzyme gene does not contribute to genetic predisposition to elite soccer’s performance in Italians

Massidda M. 1, Calò C. 1, Corrias L. 1, Vona G. 1, Piras F. 2, 3, Folletti S. 2, Scorcu M. 2, 3

1 Department of Experimental Biology, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy 2 Cagliari Calcio SpA, Cagliari, Italy 3 FMSI CR Sardegna, Italy


Aim. The purpose of this study was to verify the association between the ACE I/D polymorphism and elite athletes status in Italian soccer players.
Methods. DNA was extracted from each participant using buccal swab. We determined the genotype and allele frequencies of ACE I/D polymorphism in a group of 26 top-level male soccer players. Their results were compared with those of 85 unrelated sedentary Italian healthy men (controls). Finally, we quantify the relationship between ACE I/D polymorphism and some performance variables of lower limb strenght measured with counter movement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ) and 20 m sprint (10 m plus10 m).
Results. The results of our preliminary study showed that ACE genotypes and allele frequencies amongst soccer players (DD,ID,II=0.50,0.40,0.10, respectively; D allele=0.70) were not significantly different from Italian sedentary controls (DD,ID,II=0.46,0.41,0.13, respectively; D allele = 0.66; χ2=0.64, df=2, P=0.72). It is noteworthly that, the frequencies of our control group were similar to those observed in other Italian sedentary subjects and different to those of general Caucasian population reported by other authors in different association studies. Furthmore, the analysis of variance showed no significant difference between athletes with different genotypes and muscle strenght tests: SJ (cm DD, ID, II = 41.6, 42.5, 43.2, respectively; F2,20=0.14, P=0.86); CMJ (cm DD, ID, II = 43.1, 44.5, 45.8, respectively; F2,20=0.52, P=0.59); 20 m Sprint (s DD, ID, II = 4.07, 4.08, 4.08, respectively; F2,20=0.008, P=0.99).
Conclusion. The present research clearly suggest that ethnic origin should be carefully considered in the increasing number of studies on the association between ACE I/D polymorphism and elite athletes performance. These results suggest the lack of association between ACE I/D polymorphism and elite soccer’s performance in Italians.

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